Adams Parks Commission Considering Options for Renfrew Bleachers
ADAMS, Mass. — The Parks Commission is looking for solutions for the bleachers at Renfrew Field, after debate over their arrangement on the field in recent months.
Currently, three sets of bleachers are on the south side of the field, when in previous years, two were on the south side, with two on the north. The bleachers had been arranged that way over the summer, something the board voiced support for in July.
The commission's previous meeting had a larger-than-normal audience to give input on the issue, after the board received a letter from the Adams Cheshire Youth Football League expressing confusion from parents, coaches and others over the change. Commission co-Chair Jacob Schutz said he and others have since looked into portable bleachers, which can move without the need for heavy machinery.
"We looked out there, and the first thing we found is they are very expensive," he said. "Twenty-five thousand dollars on average, and we'd probably need at least two for one side to match something like what we had."
Town staff has explained that constantly moving the heavy bleachers and equipment around the field can cause wear on the field. Equipment operator Mark Pizani said they have installed tires on the current bleachers to move them, which requires a loader to lift the bleachers and pull them to where they need to go on the field.
"If something like this was permanent and didn't have to be taken apart, and you could just do it, we could push them or pull them with something smaller," he said.
Commission Co-Chair James Fassell was not present for the meeting but had previously suggested moving one set of bleachers from the southeast side of the field to the southwest side. He had expressed concerns at the previous meeting about emergency vehicles and accessibility with the current placement.
Pizani explained that this is not a viable option because of banking on the west side of the field, which would prevent the bleachers from being level.
"You would have to actually dig into the ground, and there's underground wires there," he said. "It's really just not feasible."
Selectman Joseph Nowak suggested that the commission reach out to the Adams Agricultural Fair to use their bleachers, which he said are lightweight and made of aluminum. He said it would benefit elderly spectators, so they don't have to walk as far, and would get them through the rest of the season.
Schutz said he does not feel the board has the authority to tell the leagues which side of the field they use as the home side. He said the high school and the leagues that use the field should decide for themselves which side they want to use.
In other business, the group was updated on the new shed at Valley Street Field. Pizani said the shed looks fantastic the students from McCann Technical School who put it together did a good job.
"They sent me a text thanking us for considering them [to build the shed] and letting the kids do it. That's a great thing," he said.
Schutz suggested that the board write a letter thanking the students for building the shed.
Tags: parks commission, playing fields,