Calverton ball fields won’t be ready until July or August

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | The ball fields project has been going on for eight years.

The new ball fields being constructed at town land in Calverton might not be done until late July or even August, officials said.

The town first began planning the park at its Calverton Enterprise Park about seven years ago, and it has since gone through a number of different configurations, and numerous delays that town officials have blamed on state and county regulations.

It now calls for four baseball/softball fields, new soccer fields, with tennis courts coming in a second phase.

Work on the parking lot there is now done, said Riverhead Councilman George Gabrielsen, who oversees recreation issues on the Town Board.

The Town Board awarded a contract to do the rest of the work last week to a company called Landtek. That company’s original bid of $538,635 was the lowest of 11 bids received for the job, but still higher than what the town budgeted for the project. Because of this, the town eliminated some parts of the job, and Landtek dropped its price to $390,780.

This job includes building the dugouts, the clay infields, the bullpens and the line fencing, Mr. Gabrielsen said.

He had predicted a few weeks ago that the parks could be open by mid-June, but adjusted that prediction Thursday after a meeting with the contractor.

“I’d say now that it won’t be done until late July or maybe even August some time,” Mr. Gabrielsen said in an interview.

The contractor first has to get its “paperwork” together, such as bonding and insurance, and has scheduled a pre-construction meeting for June 5, Mr. Gabrielsen said. The work should begin shortly after that, he said.

But the work will take some time, he added.

“They have a lot of concrete work,” he said. “They have to dig that all up…At least they’re starting it.”

The town had been making predictions for when the park will open for several years now, and all of them have been too optimistic.

Mr. Gabrielsen said the difference now is that “we are actually doing it,” so once the job is done, it’s done.

“Nobody can believe it’s taken this long,” he said.

Once completed, the town plans to shift the adult softball leagues from Stotzky Park to EPCAL so that Stotzky Park can be used mostly for youth games.

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