Xavier plans to pay $1.2 million to lay a turf surface on the grass field and build lights.
The field is in rough condition and is often closed to users, especially after bad weather. Because it currently does not have any lighting, hours are limited, especially during the shortened winter days.
The school is paying for the renovation; CB6 reviewed the project at the request of the Parks and Recreation Department before granting approval.
“Because they’re putting the lights in, they are increasing the playing time available on this field exponentially,” said Nica Lalli, chair of CB6’s Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Affairs Committee. “Their football team will have a better playing field, but the local football teams will have a lot of time on the fields [too], which they now do not have.”
“It’s a wonderful resource,” said CB6 member Terry Alexander. “My son plays on [one of] the football teams that practices there. I think that anything that can be done to improve it is great.”
Xavier currently holds permits for use of the field after school until 5 p.m., and for certain time slots on weekends. They will be adding additional weekend time once the new field is ready for use.
Lalli said proposed lights for the field helped sway board members and area residents in favor of the project.
“Without the lights,” said Lalli, “I think the committee would have had a huge problem with this, but the lights really seem to make a difference.”
“We were dying to find out what the public thought of this,” she continued, “and they loved it! It’s a total slam dunk.”
At the meeting, CB6 also unanimously passed its proposed capital and expense budget requests for fiscal year 2011, which begins July 1, 2010. Capital budget dollars are used to fund long-term infrastructure projects and equipment; the expense budget covers the city’s day-to-day operating costs.
The board’s capital budget requests included thinning traffic at the Bartel-Pritchard Square traffic circle, construction of a new precinct station house for the 78th Precinct, and repairs on 9th Street between 2nd Avenue and the Gowanus Canal, where serious flooding occurs after heavy rain.
For expense budget items, CB6 requested more funding for community boards, restoration of police precinct patrol personnel, and an expansion of the enforcement programs that keep large trucks off residential streets.