Athletic fields

Beginning of $ 5.5 million renovations to the sports fields at Belleville High School

BELLEVILLE, NJ – The shot rang out over a much-vaunted $ 5.5 million plan to modernize the sports facilities at Belleville High School.

This past weekend, Belleville officials and community members gathered for a high school dedication ceremony to kick off the effort, which Mayor Michael Melham called “the most monumental public works project of all time. Belleville for probably 50 years “.

According to a statement from township officials, the improvements will include:

NEW TRACK – “The highlight of the plan will be a new track that will allow the high school boys and girls teams to host home games for the first time in several years. And because the plan is to build an eight-lane track, Belleville will be able to host the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association-Sanction State track meets. “

NEW TURF, LIGHTING – “The project will also include a new turf area and state-of-the-art LED lighting for the soccer field and a soccer / softball field that will be created from the adjacent small baseball fields and land reclaimed from the field. ‘a redesigned sloping retaining wall. “

The project is expected to be completed by the end of the summer, in time for the 2021-22 school year. It will be funded by grants of $ 2 million from Green Acres. The township also pledged about $ 3 million, which is already funded from the municipal budget, Melham said.

With this plan, the township will have nearly quadrupled its turf field space over the past three years, Melham said.

“It’s a big day for Belleville,” said City Manager Anthony Iacono. “Every time we invest $ 5.5 million in our infrastructure is a big day, but what we do here today will bring fun and pleasure to generations of aspiring athletes.”

Melham said when city council members identified the need to add LED lighting in some areas and replace outdated lighting in others, he invited the Belleville School District to join the project.

“When we wanted to modernize the lights, the Board of Directors and Superintendent Richard Tomko immediately stepped up and funded the last half a million dollars for new LED lighting, which is energy efficient and will save us money. long term, ”Melham mentioned.

Participants at Saturday’s groundbreaking ceremony included Deputy Mayor Thomas Graziano and council members Marie Stumolo-Burke, Steve Rovell and Naomy De Peña, as well as Belleville Board of Education chairwoman Christine Lamparello, Vice President Gabrielle Bennett-Meany and Board Director Frank Velez.

A render showing what the new facilities will look like, as well as the football field – which will soon be covered with new grass.

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