ADAMS, Mass. — The town has received the Community Development Block Grant funds it needs to renovate Russell Field.
According to the town's Office of Community Development, the work could begin this spring or summer.
"We have received Community Development Block Grant funding, are finalizing the design and will do the renovations this spring and summer," Community Development Program Manager Rebecca Ferguson said.
This project goes back some years but really ramped up in 2018 after coaches and parents brought forth their concerns over the field's condition.
The playing fields had deteriorated and the playing surfaces are uneven. The surface area of the existing tennis courts is severely cracked in several places and field amenities are in a state of disrepair.
About a year ago, the Selectmen approved the project and included it in the town's CDBG application.
Currently, the park provides playing fields for youth sports including Babe Ruth, high school softball, youth football and practice fields for high school football. It also is heavily used by schools, organizations, and the Council on Aging.
The Department of Public Works has made small improvements over the years to the facility with the resurfacing of the courts and field maintenance. The fields themselves have not been renovated in 40 years.
"No significant improvements have been made for the fields in the past four decades," Community Development stated in a press release. "Given their age, the fields have reached a point where a complete reconstruction is warranted."
The town plans to update all softball infrastructure and the softball fields will be fully renovated with a new backstop, mound, plates, and benches.
The tennis courts will also be improved and an adult fitness area added.
The park will be compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act and the town is also looking to improve drainage in the western end of the park to eliminate ponding.
Students from McCann Technical School will renovate the field house to have storage space for team equipment, public restrooms, and a concession area
Ferguson said Guntlow & Associates is finalizing the plans and with the expectation to go out to bid in mid-April.
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Homeowners are encouraged to decorate the exterior of their residences so they can be seen from the street and judged. Winners will receive gift cards from Adams Hometown Market.
"It's probably been at least eight years if not longer since we've done this," Town Clerk Haley Meczywor said at Wednesday's Selectmen's meeting. "This is a little bit different from years past. The Events Committee used to take a night or two nights, and drive around and judge all the houses and then come collectively and make a determination on first, second and third prize. This year I'm happy to report that the community is going to be the judge."
Registration is open now through 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 11, and judging will be on Friday, Dec. 18, and Saturday, Dec. 19, and the winners will be announced on Tuesday, Dec. 22. Registration is free and open to anyone living within the bounds of the town of Adams.
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