YORKTOWN, N.Y. – The ballfield rehabilitation project at Downing Park has begun.

The construction, which is expected to take several weeks, is being done mostly in-house by the Yorktown Parks and Recreation Department. It involves stripping and replacing infield mix; regrading areas; cutting and filling sections of the infields; improving base paths; and some reseeding and sodding.

The rehabilitation of the Route 202 fields requires staff to add additional bleacher seating for spectators, replace player benches, install backstop padding and add shade structures to the dugouts. Major fence repairs will be performed by an outside company.

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The project is being completed with the use of a Dormitory Authority of the State of New York Reimbursement Grant, which was awarded to the town in 2011. There is about $130,000 remaining from the $150,000 grant, which was set to expire this year. The other $20,000 was used to resurface an inline hockey rink in Shrub Oak. Parks and Recreation Superintendent Todd Orlowski said no outside company could complete the project under budget, so his department took on the task.

“We are approaching our peak season and this is the time of the year where the demand accelerates,” Orlowski said. “I am proud of my department for its talent and strength to tackle this project.”

Orlowski’s department has 12 maintenance workers and this project will require about four to eight to be working at all times. Orlowski said the fields should be ready for baseball and softball opening day in April.

Orlowski said the unseasonably warm February temperatures allowed his department to begin construction early. He commended his staff for “taking on the challenge,” despite a “growing demand to conserve resources.”

“We’re doing what we can to put people out there and get it done, while maintaining what we have and getting ready for the busy season,” Orlowski said.

The project will not directly address drainage issues, though Orlowski is hopeful the new infield mix will help improve drainage.