Edison, NJ – Earlier this week, the Edison Board of Education approved the construction of a new $1.34 million turf baseball field at Edison High School without any additional cost to taxpayers.
The multiuse field, which will also be used for practice, soccer games, and physical education classes, is scheduled to be ready for the upcoming Spring 2020 season, according to school administrators. Work on the site will begin soon. Field Turf USA, which has been awarded the contract, is sending engineers next week to begin site planning and an assessment of the problems which have plagued the Eagles’ Home Field.
“The current field was in bad shape,” said Board of Education President Jerry Shi. “I’m glad we are finally fixing this problem. The flooding on that field made it unusable and frankly our Eagles deserve much better.”
The current field, named for former Coach Mike Krychowecky, has been plagued by water main breaks across the street, a generally high water table and poor grading that have made the field unplayable more often than not.
The flooding has hindered the team’s ability to practice and play on the field according to Interim Superintendent Margaret Contaldi. Even light rains have led to standing water and ruts in the infield this year were not fixed until two weeks into the season forcing Edison baseball players to practice indoors.
The team has only been able to play a total of a dozen games at home the last three seasons combined, forcing the Eagles’ team to travel to the opposing school or other off site locations. This in turn has increased transportation costs. And while the Edison Boys Baseball League allowed Edison High to play some games at their complex, overall there have been diminished opportunities for the student athletes to play in front of their own fans and families.
"We are all grateful to Edison Boys Baseball League for hosting games, but it was also important to us that the high school have a new permanent field," said Mr. Shi.
” It’s been a long time coming. An updated facility like this will put us on an even playing field with other districts and give our players a distinct advantage of being able to practice in March and during inclement weather,” said Head Coach Vinnie Abene.
The new field will provide a safe quality facility that can stand up to heavy use and recover as soon as the rain stops, according to the District.
According to District Administrators, the field is being paid for by the current capital reserve fund, which includes money the district saved from renegotiating vendor contracts.
Rich La Pelosa, a parent and local business owner is looking forward to the new filed. “Glad the kids got the field they deserve, “ he said.
Next year the Board will look to make similar improvements to John P. Stevens, but for now plans are being made now for an opening day Pep Rally and celebration to welcome the Eagles home.