Plan would turn Grumman picnic grounds into ball fields

TIM GANNON PHOTO | Recreation committee members tour the EPCAL site this week.

Riverhead Town’s recreation advisory committee members are recommending the town use a 30-acre tract of land at the Enterprise Park at Calverton for multi-purpose fields that could be used for soccer, football or lacrosse.

The land, they say, needs only to be striped.

The area in question is just east of four new baseball fields the town has already built and east of an old Grumman picnic grounds, Councilman George Gabrielsen, also a committee member, explained at Tuesday night’s Town Board meeting.

The land has long been clear of trees and brush and falls within the 62 acres where the town has been planning a park for years.

The state has given approvals for the park to open, but the town is still waiting for the county’s OK, officials said. The town went out for bids on building the parking area and the park entrance from Route 25, and those bids are due Friday.

Mr. Gabrielsen said the town’s master plan for the former Grumman site calls for a project estimated at nearly $500,000 to build new recreational fields on the once federally-owned land. The town will not be having soccer leagues play at Stotzky Park this summer because of the poor condition of those fields and instead hopes to move those leagues to this site, Mr. Gabrielsen said.

He said the recreation committee can have the fields open by May, without any new expenses, since the town already owns the soccer nets, and the field striping and other work can be done in-house.

“We just saved the town a half million dollars,” he said.

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