MILLBURN, NJ - Under the bright sunlight of a crisp Friday morning, Millburn Township took a major step forward in the construction of a new turf field behind the town library.

The project, which is being funded through a joint agreement between the township and the board of education (BOE), will be lined for several sports, including field hockey, soccer and lacrosse. With the move, the township will hope to open up more field space and play time to children in the school district and the rec department programs.

Construction on the field will be undertaken in two phases. The first phase of the project, currently underway, will include temporary fencing installation, soil erosion control, demolition of the current field, soil re-location and land survey. 

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Part two of the construction will involve land grading and balancing, turf installation, curb work and fencing installation.

Speaking after yesterday's groundbreaking, members of the various organizations all noted how important the field was to their long-term goals.

"Millburn has been notoriously short of safe, useable field space," Mayor Diane Eglow said, speaking with TAPinto. "This is now going to open up an incredible opportunity for all of our athletes who are not in high school, who don't have access to the high school field.

"This is an incredibly safe and appropriate use for this particular field, and it's been ten years since we've had a new turf field in town, so I know everyone's going to benefit from this."

On the BOE side, board president Alex Zaltsman was also enthusiastic about what the field can do for the school athletics programs in town outside of the high school.

"We're excited about our partnership with the township of Millburn," Zaltsman said. "And [we] are looking forward to the kids enjoying this new field that can handle five sports."

Along with the aforementioned groups, several high school teams will also see benefits to the field, as Millburn Athletic Director Frank Bifulco explained.

"The field is a great addition to the athletic community," Bifulco said. "It gives everyone another phenomenal playing surface and keeps all the young athletes playing. At the high school level we are able to still use the field for our lower level (freshman and Junior Varsity) teams. Our field hockey, boys and girls soccer, and boys and girls lacrosse will all see the benefits to the field." 

"All in all this took the many efforts of many people to get this historic field put in place. Our coaches and players are thankful or this opportunity," he added.