Weber sports field closed for the fall

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The front field at Carrie Palmer Weber Middle School will be closed for renovations starting this fall, according to Port Washington Superintendent Dr. Kathleen Mooney.

The renovations to the field include new grass and an upgrade to the irrigation system, said Jim Ristano, the district’s facility and operations manager.

“It needs to be done now,” Ristano said. “We have some time in between all of the other construction projects, so this is a good time to get this accomplished.”

Over the past five years, he said, the field was used often to store construction equipment for projects on the school ground, which led to wear and tear on the surface.

The refurbishing process will begin with the planting of new grass seed in mid-September, Ristano said. Then, he added, there will be a waiting process as the grass grows and it will be evaluated after the winter.

The entire project will cost around $35,000, Ristano said

“We have to get the seeds down first and make sure the grass grows properly,” Ristano said. “Once that happens, we’ll check it out in the spring and see how good the germination was.”

Mooney said the field’s surface was too hard to play on and it was becoming a safety issue.

“To get the field in a safe, working condition,” Ristano said, “it takes time. It’s not the work that takes a long time, but the germination of the seed for the grass growing. We have to nurture it and we want to do it correctly.”

The field’s irrigation system will undergo maintenance, too, Ristano said. 

 “We need to make sure everything is working properly, and especially make sure that the watering system is covering the whole field,” he said.

During the field’s maintenance, the district will use it as a storage area for the construction of a new chiller that will be installed on the roof of the building near Port Washington Boulevard, Mooney said.

“While we’re doing the field, a crane will be parked on it for a couple of days for a chiller that’s being installed,” Ristano said.

While the field is closed, students will use the Seeber Field infield and track for recess, which is located “toward the back of the school,” Mooney said.

Fall sports that are usually scheduled for the front field will be moved to other district fields, Mooney added.

Mooney said that the front field is “tentatively scheduled to reopen in mid school year and that a letter is being sent home to all Weber Middle School parents to notify them of the closure.” 

By Stephen Romano

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