As part of the ongoing effort to bring a major new athletic fields and recreation complex to Lynnfield, residents will soon have the chance to weigh in on what they actually want from the facility.
The early stages of this project call for the consulting firm, Gale Engineers And Planners, to perform preliminary engineering tasks (surveying, wetlands delineation, etc.) as well as a needs assessment that will seek input from residents and community organizations ranging from the Council on Aging to the various town athletic programs. The responses will be used to plan exactly what types of fields and other resources will end up on the 98.5 acre parcel of land.
At this week's selectmen's meeting, Town Administrator Bill Gustus explained that in the near future, the consulting firm may post a survey online so all town residents can provide input. Residents may also receive a questionnaire about the project in the mail, possibly in their tax bills, and the consulting firm is expected to start contacting the various community organizations soon to set up interviews to get additional information.
While much of the focus of this project has revolved around the athletic fields it will include, town officials are also trying to make it clear that the project is broader in scope and will include passive recreation spaces as well - such as walking/biking trails, and maybe a boat launch.
"This is not just a set of sports fields, it is a recreation area," said Selectman Al Merritt, who serves as the selectmen's liaison to the fields committee, which is chaired by former selectman Arthur Bourque. "I can tell you, there off to a fast start," said Merritt.
During this early stage, the fields committee is also still in the process of identifying potential grant funds from the state and elsewhere - and efforts are also underway to start lining up the considerable private funding that will be needed to make the project a reality.
Organizers hope to have the project completed by Spring, 2015.