MILLBURN, NJ — It took a much shorter amount of time than anyone anticipated, and came in under budget. And yesterday morning, the first groups of Millburn children began to play on the brand new turf field that came together behind the Millburn library.
Groundbreaking on the project started in late-September, and within a month and a half, the field was ready to go. The field is jointly owned and controlled by the school board and the township, which means both organizations will be splitting the use of the field.
Throughout the morning and into the early afternoon, the field hosted multiple scrimmages for junior lacrosse, recreation, First and Second Grade soccer, recreation Field Hockey and the Millburn Soccer Club.
Soccer club president Josh Reiter spoke with TAPinto, and said that he and the other members of the club's board were thrilled to have the new space.
"The club is extremely excited about the new field for a variety of reasons," Reiter said. "One, obviously the quality of the playing surface, but also from a safety perspective. And then also as we look to build better athletes in town and having better facilities, this is the optimal [outcome] for us."
Millburn mayor Dianne Thall-Eglow made a speech at the ribbon cutting, thanking everyone involved in putting the field together. She also spoke with TAP, and said that the field was a collaborative effort among multiple major groups and individuals in town, each doing their part to bring the field to completion.
"It's amazing, because we have been hearing from parents for years now that have wanted to make this happen," Thall-Eglow said.'I'm really proud of everyone's collaboration, because no one can do anything alone."
She also specified that Millburn Recreation Department head Bob Hogan and Millburn Business Administrator Alex McDonald both did yeoman's work in bringing the field to completion.
Following the ribbon-cutting, the field will now be in regular use for five sports; boys and girls soccer, boys and girls lacrosse and field hockey.
[Editor's note:] the size limits on the photo caption do not allow us to list all the individuals pictured in the lead photograph. They are listed here; Chris Drucker, Fred Leighton, Stephanie Nesser, Nick Romano, Stuart Paulson, Jackie Leiberberg (deputy mayor), Tara Prupis, Richard Wasserman (committeeman-elect), Bob Hogan, Alex Zaltsman (BOE president), Jamie Serruto (board member-elect), John Westfall-Kwong, Chris Meyers, Neal Healy, Scott Redler and Dianne Thall-Eglow (mayor). Maggie Tratnyek, Quentin Kuehn, Julia Ebner, Isaiah Halpern and Samantha Reiter were also present as representatives from the youth sports programs.
Several town officials were not present at the ceremony, but also helped to contribute to the project. They were Cheryl Burstein, Sam Levy and Alex McDonald.