Miller Field Committee Reviews $9.8M Project

By Sue Ellen Woodcock

The Miller Field Committee just met to formalize their proceedings and spent much of the first meeting discussing a small portion of the $9.8 million project.

Suffice to say that there are some passionate people on the committee with differing opinions. The committee opted to select co-chairs for the committee with James Letterie and Vin Crossman sharing the duties.

Dave Girard, who served on the School Building Assistance Construction Committee, questioned why relocating the existing tennis courts near the Golf Course to Ingleside Park was part of the overall project but was bid out separately and before an operation project manager or construction manager had been hired.

“There are a lot of people not happy about the tennis courts being moved,” Girard said. He also questioned the wording of the ballot question that was approved by the voters in June for the project. Town Council President Robert Driscoll Jr. explained that the council voted to add the project and raised the cap from $9.3 million to $9.8 million as is allowed in the ballot question. As it is planned now the Miller Field Committee will also oversee the tennis court project.

Committee member and DPW head Steve Calla said the tennis court job already went out to bid and they were awarding it on Thursday. The low bidder for the project, which also includes a second street hockey pad at Ingleside Park and a new parking lot where the old courts near the Golf Course were located, is Quirk Construction, of Georgetown, which came in with a bid of $380,000. “We lose time and money if we pull back,” Calla said, when asked if the project could wait.

“We don’t want to delay the project,” said member Tom Chibina, an architect.

Known as the Miller Field/Lewis Lake Project,  the construction list includes a new synthetic field and regulation synthetic track, bleachers and press box. The project also covers the flooding issues at Lewis Lake and the Winthrop Golf Course with tide gates and grading working. An expensive part of the project is raising the level of Miller Field with fill and grading it. The current Miller Field and track do not meet MIAA regulations and is prone to wetness.

Also serving on the Miller Field/Lewis Lake Committee: School Committee member Ron Vecchia, Principal Matt Serino, DPW head Steve Calla, Karin Chavis, Dave Girard, Tom Chibina, Conservation Commission member Norm Hyatt. Non-voting members will be Rich Cifuni, Jim Evans, and Bob Flavin. Ex-officio members are Superintendent of Schools John Macero, Council President Robert Driscoll Jr., Town Manager James McKenna, and town CFO Michael Perez.

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