Parks & Rec roundup: Turf field delay could be costly; dog park nears completion

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At its meeting on Wednesday, the Parks & Recreation Commission continued discussions on the Fruit Street fields replacement and dog park project. The commission also considered requests related to the Town Common and a Nov. 6 family event on the Fruit Street fields.

Regarding the replacement of the Fruit Street fields turf, the commission discussed the results of a startup meeting with Gale Associates. Kathy Hervol of Gale Associates estimated that by 2022, the cost of materials will go up by 5-7 percent and likely will rise again in the first quarter. This forecast gives the commission “more impetus to do this quicker rather than later,” Parks & Recreation Department Director Jay Guelfi said.

Gale Associates will provide firm numbers and a more detailed proposal in early December. As mentioned in previous meetings, project scheduling is an additional concern. “There’s a long list of folks who want to replace their turf right now,” Guelfi said. “The sooner we get in the queue, the better off we are.”

If the project proceeds, construction might take place in mid- to late 2022.

Bounce houses approved for family event

The commission granted the Friends of Hopkinton a permit to place bounce houses on the Fruit Street fields for Hopkinton families to enjoy on Saturday, Nov. 6. The bounce houses will be open to children ages 2-12 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Masks will be required.

Dog park progresses toward completion

“We are inching up to the finish line,” Guelfi said of the dog park project. “The only thing we’re waiting for are the gates to the fence and a couple other minor things.” As previously reported, the gazebo will not be installed until January, but the park will open to the public prior to the gazebo’s arrival.

Town Common requests heard

The commission approved a request from the Hopkinton Scout Leaders Association to use the Town Common on Nov. 13 for the group’s Scouting for Food event, which collects non-perishable food to benefit the Project Just Because food pantry. The Scouts will be allowed to use the Town Common as their sorting site, with the Center School gym functioning as a backup location in case of rain.

Resident Bill Hamilton requested the commission’s approval to reinstall a World War II memorial on the Town Common. The original memorial was constructed of wood and was removed after rotting. The commission will speak with additional town departments to understand the financials and other planning needs of the project.