The City and the School Department are preparing to begin construction on a full renovation project of the Chelsea Memorial Stadium, putting down a new turf field and a new track.
Gerry McCue of the School Department said they will begin replacement of the field and track at the end of May.
“We have a synthetic turf field at the high school and it’s at the end of it useful life,” he said. “It was installed 17 years ago. They don’t last forever and it’s time to think about a new field. We’ve been working with the City because the cost was so high and we need to have it in the Capital Improvement Plan. We found at the same time the track was in desperate need of repair as well.”
After meeting with the Planning Department and stakeholders, such as the Pop Warner and Chelsea High coaches, they began designing the field and track.
As part of the project, they will push the track slightly up towards the Parkway to accommodate lighting in a better fashion. They will also prepare for a Phase 2 to the project, which will be built out later in the summer after being bid in July.
“That Phase 2 will provide new lights outside of the track and a new restroom facility,” he said. “We’re also going to create a Master Plan for our remaining baseball fields and the high school and the Burke Complex.”
That second phase is estimated to cost $900,000, with the lights accounting for $800,000 of that.
Phase 1 has already hit a kink in the chain, though, as bids came in at $2 million for a project with a $1.7 million budget. McCue said they would look at cost-cutting measures.
One of those measures is the addition of a large Chelsea ‘C’ in the middle of the new turf field. That might have to be cut out of the project due to the higher bid. Another possible cut is re-doing the scoreboard, which could be taken up at another time.
A second sand pit for pole vault and long jump is also a possibility.
By next fall, the Stadium should have a whole new look.
“We will probably start the project the day after Memorial Day, but it looks like that could slide into mid-June,” he said. “We were hoping to have everything buttoned up by mid-September, but it could end up being late September. It will be an exciting project to see completed next fall.”