‘100 Yards’ with Tenafly Football’s Kenny Uchida
NorthJersey.com High School Sports Columnist Darren Cooper interviews Tenafly High School’s Kenny Uchida.
Danielle Parhizkaran, North Jersey
TENAFLY — Before the high school baseball team can use its field this spring, someone will have to walk through it to find holes and irregularities and make repairs.
This may seem like simple grounds maintenance, but it hints at larger issues with the sports grounds behind the school which will require major upgrading in the future.
The fields have “poor subsurface conditions” such as sinkholes, a significant drop in elevation from the college baseball field, and rainwater not draining properly, according to a board committee report from education.
The report, written last month by the Facilities Committee, notes that most sports fields are in a flood zone, and its long-term recommendations include raising the baseball outfield by 2 inches and adding natural grass or artificial grass.
Short-term spring field maintenance solutions include adding topsoil and clay to fields, applying organic fertilizers, and general field maintenance.
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The report comes after soil testing by EI Associates revealed that fill material in the soil is a factor in the field’s below-standard conditions.
Other long-term recommendations from geotechnical engineers who studied the grounds, but were not mentioned in the report, include moving the tennis courts to the college, moving the softball field west so that it being out of the flood zone, and the creation of an artificial complex that includes a baseball diamond and a softball field, which could also be used for off-season soccer and lacrosse.
Tenafly Secondary School principal James Morrison, who was attending a meeting in February to discuss the report, said he would like to see long-term work carried out on the fields, but cited cost concerns. The report did not give prices for long-term projects.
“We would like to completely update our fields, but these types of changes need to be planned carefully, and field renovations are expensive,” Morrison said. “Hopefully 2021 and beyond will give us the opportunity to revisit some of these important upgrades.”
Ricardo Kaulessar is a local reporter for NorthJersey.com. For unlimited access to the most important news from your local community, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.