After months of meetings, proposals and arguments, the Community Board 5 (CB 5) Parks Committee made a decision Tuesday on plans to reconstruct the ballfields at Maspeth’s Frank Principe Park that they hope will please everyone.
The Parks Department presented the committee with five design choices for the proposed soccer field and Little League/softball fields: three designs that have been presented at prior meetings, along with two new designs.
The first new design, Option 4, has the soccer field on the eastern section of the soft surface field, with the two Little League/softball fields diagonally across from each other. The soccer field would be surfaced with synthetic turf, with the ball fields having a natural turf. A 24-foot-high chain-link fence will be installed between the soccer fields and the ball fields to prevent any overlap in play between the two sports. This plan omits a section of bleachers in order to provide the ballfields with more space.
The second option of new designs, Option 5, is similar to Option 4 with the soccer field on the eastern part of the field and the ballfields on the western portion. In this proposal, the Little League/softball fields would be facing diagonally toward each other, with a slight overlap in play. The fields will be artificial turn and natural turf, as in Option 4, and will have a 24-foot-high chain-link fence separating the sports fields.
The Parks Committee voted unanimously in favor of supporting Option 5 with several stipulations.
The committee wants bleachers to be provided for soccer spectators on the east side of the field; the chain-link fence to be replaced between the east end of the proposed soccer field; and the fence near the pedestrian walkway to be reduced from the proposed 16 feet to a height low enough for spectators sitting on the bleachers to view a game.
They also want to see horizontal reinforcement bars installed for the exterior fencing behind the backstops of the proposed Little League/softball fields, as well as all surfacing be artificial turf, which is much easier to maintain.
Option 5 will also include the installation of electrical conduits so that recreational lighting can be installed in a future project when funding becomes available.
The full board will vote on the committee’s recommendation at its next meeting on Feb. 10.