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Avon is Game for a New Athletic Complex

Town official seek funding source for Thompson Road athletic complex preliminary site plan.

In 2007, the town drafted this design for a possible athletic complex on Thompson Road. Credit: Town of Avon
In 2007, the town drafted this design for a possible athletic complex on Thompson Road. Credit: Town of Avon
A turf field, lighting for night games and a press box. 

Those are all things Avon could see in a new town athletic facility if town officials move forward with a revisited proposal for the M.H. Rhodes property on Thompson Road from 2007.  

Last week, the Avon Town Council took another step on the playing field toward a new athletic facility. At its Thursday, Jan. 9 meeting, the council asked Town Manager Brandon Robertson to identify up to $40,000 in funding to pay an architect to design preliminary plans for an athletic complex. The town would then seek a contractor through the request for proposal process.

Weston & Sampson designed the 2007, according to a memo on July 10, 2012 from Robertson to the council. Officials included the project on the "out" years of the capital improvement plan for $3 million in funding.

The facility would also include bathrooms and fencing around the fields.

"A recommendation regarding the source of funds will be made at the next meeting," Robertson wrote in an email to Patch.

The town of Avon purchased the 15.25-acres M.H. Rhodes property at 99 Thompson Road for about $1.5 million in 2003 and evaluated whether the land was polluted by the former time device factory, Town Council Chairman Mark Zacchio previously said.

In 2012, the property, which was contaminated when the town purchased it, was deemed "clean," according to materials provided to the council. A "ground water monitoring program" for the property was completed in 2011, as required by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

In the 2007 Recreation and Parks master plan, the town identified the site as the best location for a "town-wide sports stadium complex," including a "dream list" of "a semi-professional level and high school baseball field" and an all-purpose field for soccer, field hockey, lacrosse and football.

Avon residents have high interest in a lighted synthetic turf field, according to town recreation officials.

Other towns with turf fields are Berlin, Canton, Cheshire, Darien, East Lyme, Ellington, Enfield, Glastonbury, Granby, Greenwich, Groton, Guilford, Hamden, Madison, Mansfield, Meriden, Montville, New Canaan, New London, Newington, Newtown, North Haven, Norwich, Oxford, Ridgefield, Rocky Hill, Shelton, Simsbury, Southington, Stamford, Stonington, Suffield, Tolland, Trumbull, Wallingford, Waterford, Watertown, West hartford, Westport, Wethersfield and Wilton.

"Due to the need for additional facilities which are anticipated to be intensively used by town sports leagues and the school district, and the multi-purpose use of the high school baseball, lacrosse and football fields, and other fields throughout town, a town-wide sports stadium complete for high school games and other competitions should be undertaken," the town's recreation master exam states.

Town officials noted that there would be ample parking on site and that its proximity to Thompson Brook School and Pine Grove School could provide more parking options with shuttles.

Recreation and Parks Director Glenn Marston, who plans to retire in August, said that the town will have to review and update its wish list for the facility. 

Do you want a new town-wide athletic complex on Thompson Road? 
jenna ryan January 15, 2014 at 12:40 PM
While I can appreciate that the town needs more space for athletics, I wish that there were a community building on the property. Something with a big room! The sr center is great, but honestly a tad too small sometimes. The new room at the library is great, but also too small. There are winter sports, too, and those need to be played indoors!
Paul January 16, 2014 at 09:25 AM
That would be a great addition to the town. But why can't we expand the existing space on 10/202 ??
matt viazmenky January 19, 2014 at 01:35 PM
It does not look like fields at middle and high schools are over utilized and there is a great need for additional sport complex. Based on the history of accidents the Thomson road as it is can’t handle additional traffic.

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