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Grass be gone: Cumberland to install turf at Tucker Field

March 11, 2013

Divots fly from the natural grass playing surface at Tucker Field in Cumberland, as Cumberland High School wideout Mitchell Baxter eludes a defender, in this Nov. 9, 2012 photo. The Cumberland Town Council voted last week to approve a $57,083 to install synthetic turf at the field where the school will defend its Div. II Super Bowl title. (PHOTO/ ERNEST A. BROWN)

CUMBERLAND — The Town Council last week approved a resolution authorizing Mayor Daniel J. McKee to enter into a contract agreement with Birchwood Design Group, a Providence-based landscape architecture planning and design firm chosen by the town to replace the natural grass football field at Tucker Field with synthetic turf as part of the Tucker Field Athletic Complex renovation project.
Following the council's unanimous vote Wednesday, Birchwood Design Group will be awarded a $57,083 contract to design the artificial turf for the football field; upgrade the football field and softball field lighting systems; redesign and resurface the main parking lot; and resurface the infield of the ballfield and the running track around the football field.
According to Public Works Director Alan Brodd, the town received five proposals ranging from $49,500 to $118,000. Four of the five firms met with the town's Professional Services Committee, which included Brodd, Town Councilman William S. Murray, Director of Planning and Dvelopment Kelly Morris, Parks and Recreation Director Michael Crawley, and the Cumberland High School track coach.
The committee revieweed the proposals and chose Birchwood Design Group, which will provide engineering and design plans, and construction supervision services for the proposed improvements to the field.
"Every firm will approach this type of design work differently," Brodd told the council Wednesday. "What we liked about Birchwood is that they are two local firms so the assumption is that it will save us money in expenses in travel time during the construction phase. We also chose Birchwood because of their qaulifications and extensive experience with artificial turf projects."
Murray added that Birchwood was also the only firm that indicated it can have the project completed by the town's fall deadline.
Funding for the work is coming from a state Department of Environmental Management (DEM) matching grant,
The town has been making steady improvements to the Tucker Field Athletic Complex over the past few years. The complex is across the street from Cumberland High School.
Two years ago, the council authorized the mayor to enter into a contract with Cumberland-based J.H. Lynch & Sons for construction services as part of the second phase of the Tucker Field Athletic Complex renovation project.
The project is being funded with a $300,000 state Department of Environmental Management (DEM) matching grant. The town match of $206,338 is budgeted in the general fund and the balance is coming from the recreation fund.
The project's second phase was to create a larger multi-purpose athletic field at the 2675 Mendon Road complex; redesign and renovation of four existing tennis courts and the addition of a fifth; reconstruction of an existing track-and-field weight throwing area; two new basketball courts; and ADA compliant parking and roadway construction.

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