Turf field efforts move forward in Burrillville with formation of committee

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BURRILLVILLE – An effort to build an artificial turf field at Burrillville High School took a small step forward this month, with both town and school officials agreeing to the formation and makeup of the committee that will spearhead the initiative.

It will be a long-term project for which funding is not yet clear. Town Councilor Donald Fox began discussion replacing Alumni Field with synthetic turf earlier this year, noting that funding state and federal funding sources are currently available for many different projects, and that municipal leaders are hopeful financing can be found.

In April, the Burrillville School Committee voted to cede control of the field to the town to pursue the initiative, with all agreeing that a committee of all interested stakeholders would be formed.

The makeup of that board was laid out a the School Committee’s July meeting. It will include Supt. Michael Sollitto; two school board members plus one alternate from the committee; the athletic director; the high school principal; the director of facilities; the business manager; the ice rink director; a parent representative; the Bronco football coach and a member from Burrillville Patriots Youth Football.

From the council, Fox will join Counclior Stephen Rawson, will Councilor Raymond Trinque to serve as an alternate, and Sollitto noted that ad hoc members from participating sports can also be called in as needed.

“Just about any sport that plays on this field is going to have access,” Fox said this week, noting that teams expected to use a new facility include both the high school football team and youth league, lacrosse, soccer and field hockey.

But those involved say the field will take at least two years to become a reality – even in the best of circumstances. Construction is expected to cost around $2.8 million, before parking lot improvements are considered. The synthetic turf typically has a ten to 12 year life span, and funds raised at the facility – including concessions – would be put aside for its eventual replacement.

Sollitto told NRI NOW this week that the new committee will likely hold its first meeting in September.

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