Presentation on theme: "Sparta Soccer Club Field Proposal September 2008."— Presentation transcript:
Sparta Soccer Club Field Proposal September 2008
Athletics and recreation are an essential component of our Sparta lifestyle. Name a sport or activity and it is likely that somewhere in Sparta a lot of people are participating. Well, maybe not surfing – but most everything else! And thats why we are here tonight to discuss our proposal for steps that should be taken to add to the athletic field inventory in Sparta. As we are all too aware Sparta has grown tremendously and while we may be approaching build-out, we are not there yet. Homes are being built, schools are getting bigger but our athletic and recreational facilities have not kept up with the growth. In fact with the changes at the High School and the loss of the lease of White Lake the net field inventory gain is in the negative. A first step has been taken in the construction of Junior fields for soccer at New White Lake but at this point, it is only a first step. There is a need for a comprehensive plan that will address Spartas long-term needs. Sports organizations in town have experienced the same growth as the town. This is true for sports that have been around for many years as well sports that are relatively new to Sparta. All are in need of more game fields and more practice areas. Sparta Soccer believes that every sport is important so long as one child wants to participate. We believe that all sports are an integral part of the development of a child. Whether at a recreational or more competitive travel level, we dont think it matters – participation alone teaches many life lessons and that opportunity should be available to all. The difficulty is that with not enough facilities all sports organizations may need to limit the number of programs and the number of children that participate. Such a situation is unacceptable for a town like Sparta. One of the reasons many of us choose to live here is all the recreational opportunities available. It is imperative that we work together to find a way to ensure that Sparta continues to make available superior sports and recreational facilities for every Sparta child and adult. Tonight we hope to outline the possibilities and inspire the Town Council to determine the optimal plan and then begin the necessary implementation.
Recognizing the problem Recognizing that Sparta has grown in population as well as the number of children participating in not only our soccer programs but in all sports programs in Sparta; we can agree there is a need to increase the number of sports fields in Sparta. Recognizing that todays society depends on public facilities for organized sports / activities for our children we can agree there is a real need for more sports / recreation facilities in Sparta Recognizing that Sparta children typically grow up to be responsible, healthy, successful citizens who give back to their town, schools, state and country we can agree that we have a responsibility to provide an environment that continues to produce that type of child. We can also agree that better facilities, better programs, better children all contribute to better property values – but thats really not the point – Children dont care about property values – they care about having things to do, places to go, having friends, having adults to help and provide for them – all the things that keep children from doing the things we dont want them to do. We can agree that in a town like Sparta we should make every effort to provide the facilities that allow all Sports/ Recreation groups the possibility to offer their program to every interested child.
Some Facts about Sparta Soccer Club Formed in the Early 1970s Offers programs to boys and girls 4-19 years old Offers In-Town (averaging 600 players per season) and Travel (approximately 350-400 players per year) While players tryout for travel teams, most who tryout are offered a spot on a team as we offer developmental teams or positions on town teams. No player is ever turned away from an In-Town team SSC is operated totally by volunteers SSC supports Sparta HS teams, we offer scholarships to graduating Seniors and fund the seniors, coaches and guests at their end of season dinner SSC consistently has 1 st place winners in top Flights of the Morris County Youth Soccer Association (MCYSA) (MCYSA) belongs to the New Jersey Youth Soccer Association (NJYSA) which belongs to the United States Soccer Association (USSA) belonging to FIFA the International Soccer Association
Current Soccer Fields Available: *For the purpose of this presentation fields suitable for the use of sports played on a rectangle of grass are included: Such as Soccer, Football, Lacrosse and Field Hockey. Fields used primarily for sports such as baseball or softball are not considered Station Park: Station 1: full–sized Soccer – can be formatted to small-sized Station 1B: Lit full–sized Soccer – can be formatted to small-sized Station 2 : full–sized Soccer – can be formatted to 1 or 2 small-sized Station 3: Lit full–sized Soccer – can be formatted to 1 small-sized Station 4: Lit full–sized Soccer – can be formatted to 1 small-sized Current White Lake : Spring 08: Three Junior sized fields (shared facility with Lacrosse) Ideally Soccer needs 4-5 small fields to efficiently schedule Junior programs Fall 08: 4 small fields Note: Current Regulation minimum dimensions for soccer fields Full-sized = 100 by 50 yards Small-sized = 60 by 40 yards Junior = 50 by 30 yards
Typical Usage per season, (fall or spring by SSC) for the current Soccer fields Station Park Travel: 24 teams ( app. 400 children ) 120 home games per season (5 home games per team) 480 Travel team practices per season for (2 per week for 10 weeks) Town League (Recreation ) 18 teams (app.225 children) 90 games (8 games per season each team) 144 practices (1 per week for 8 weeks) Current White Lake Town League (averages 600 children per season) Division 6 (1 st & 2 nd grade) 16 Teams (app 175 children) 64 games (8 per week) 64 practices 4 weeks of Division Training) using all fields for all teams w/ professional trainer Division 7 10 Teams – 80 sessions (app. 100) Pre-K 14 teams – 112 sessions (app.120)
Soccer Field Use by other Sports: Note: this information is according to our knowledge, although we contacted other organizations including Lacrosse and football, we have not received any information from them. During the spring soccer shares the use of White Lake with Lacrosse. In spring 09 Lacrosse will also have Station 1B. Soccer although having more teams (addition of HS age teams) in the spring will lose the use of this field. Sparta High School uses soccer fields at Station during the fall for practice and games (full schedule is not yet available) This may only be while construction is ongoing; however no plans have yet been made public for replacement of lost fields and the High Schools growing needs Adult soccer teams, (Mens over 40, Mens over 21 and Womens over 30) use fields at Station for practice and games (requiring lit fields for their week night games / practices (fall spring and summer)
Problems with Shared use of Existing Grass Fields Different sized fields required for different sports Different lining of fields required Soccer Goals (must be staked or permanently placed on grass fields; league and state rule) Different placement of goals on fields Not usable all season, wet weather, etc Different wear of fields (potential for injury) If fields were scheduled for use by multiple sports in one season, increased set-up time for Parks Dept. (causing increased cost) Fields currently get minimal rest (non-use) time for maintenance now – any increased use reduces that further
Possibilities for Shared use of Multi-purpose Turf ( Artificial ) Fields Turf Fields can be multi–lined for several sports, (3 easily) Soccer Goals can be anchored w/sand bags, (league & state rule) Goals can be easily moved (Football may require permanent placement) Turf Fields w/ proper maintenance are not subject to same weather, limitations, etc. Multiple sports can be scheduled during the same season (requires cooperation of organizations and Parks & Recreation Dept.) Less maintenance hours/ cost – no mowing, fertilizing, lining, etc Turf Fields dont need rest (non-use) time for maintenance Benefits multiply if Turf Fields are lit (without lights a lot of potential use-time is lost)
Possible Solutions: SSC has met with Mr. Underhill and with Mrs. Mohr. We have sought the personal opinions of Town Council members. We have sought the input and support of our membership We have sought the input and support of other sport organizations in town. While at this time we have no formal commitment from any organization, there is guarded interest; different sports seem to have different ideas of what will be happening in the future in Sparta so the lack of a confirmed plan seems to cause hesitation. SSC believes that our request can only benefit all other sports as well as soccer. SSC will continue to make every effort to work cooperatively with other sports in Sparta In our meetings and discussions we have observed that different people have different ideas about what is the best solution to our field needs. We will outline some of the concepts we have heard and outline the advantages and disadvantages as we see them in an effort to facilitate the best decision It should be noted that we do believe that any solution should include at least one artificial turf field. Our children play on them in other towns without ever having the opportunity to practice on them. It is a disadvantage and this refers not only to our soccer players but also to Sparta lacrosse and football players, in our youth programs as well as our High School programs.
IdeaAdvantage(s)Disadvantage(s) Artificial Turf Field(s) at New White Lake Fastest construction time Easily shared by multiple sports in the same season (can be built large enough for every sport) Lowest maintenance time / cost Most expensive option Also needs lights to maximize use Location is in remote section of town – Soccer has no issue with this but has heard concern from others Grass Field (s) at New White Lake Least expensive (especially if seeded) Quick availability if sod is planted Could be used specifically as practice space Adds more man hours for maintenance / equipment New Artificial Turf Field at Station Park (adjacent to Field 1B) Same advantages listed for Art. Turf or grass at White Lake plus: Space available – within reach of electricity / Adds to the inventory at Station Park Can also be used easily by HS Same disadvantages as turf at White Lake with the exception that it is located in the center of Sparta and easily accessible by all. May cause some concern by its location closer to ground wells Also a large retaining wall may be required Turf 1B at Station Park May be the least expensive option for artificial turf as less grading / prep work will be required, then all the other Art. Turf advantages apply except size Also easily shared by the HS Does not add to the Field inventory at all. All programs still need more space than can be solved by turfing an existing field. Cannot fit a regulation size football field, which limits sharing potential Light Fields 1 and 2 at Station Park Increased use of the fields and again allows for easier maintenance rest – rotation. Fewer fields need for each program as events can be scheduled after dark Alone this does not solve all problems – as we would still not have a facility that is easily shared by all sports. Does not add to overall inventory and we would still not have a an artificial turf field in the inventory. Complete Road around Station Park SAFETY! * SAFETY! * SAFETY! If you have ever been in Station Park on a Saturday or Sunday or almost any evening – this is obvious. It is only a matter of time before some child darts out in front of a car… Really cant see any – maybe the cost to finish the road but having a safe, more easily navigated park would be worth it. Some more parking would be good too!
Sparta Soccer Clubs recommendation: SSC asks that Council decide on a strategy for athletic field development and take immediate steps to begin implementation We recognize that a first step has been taken in the construction of an area for Junior fields at New White Lake, however that area only replaces the fields Sparta lost the future use of at Old White Lake We believe the best plan will include at least one Multi-purpose Artificial Turf Field, will add to the inventory of grass fields and will eventually light all fields, but at least light a new artificial turf field and Station fields 1 & 2 now, and complete the road around Station Park (with one way traffic). SSC is ready now to commit to donating $50,000. towards a plan that will add such fields to Spartas inventory for the benefit of all Sparta youth. Furthermore Soccer is ready to commit the additional sum of $10,000. per year for the next five years towards the cost. We also believe that once a confirmed plan is approved by the Town Council, we can pursue additional funding towards specific projects. (This may involve finding appropriate ways to display donor/sponsor information (plaques / signs, etc)
Regardless of the sports facilities constructed at New White Lake we ask that Sparta moves forward now with a decision for a plan that also includes development of the park aspects of New White Lake. The plans for the facility include many things besides sports fields and we encourage full development of the facility for everyones use as Station Park is now used by residents for more than sports. We also believe the development of more fields at Station Park, especially more lights and an artificial Turf field will allow for more shared use by Sparta High School (which has also lost fields) and even provides the opportunity for some funding from the Board of Education for projects at Station Park. We believe the time to act is now, we also ask to be included in the decision making process of size, type of turf, etc., so that the best possible facilities can be constructed. As we have learned in the past it is necessary to be very specific in order to avoid construction mistakes. We ask that the Town Council designate funding for this project and approve moving forward now for the benefit of many Sparta residents President, Shauna Stanley VP Travel, Aldo Altieri VP Town, League Gil Gibbs Secretary, Jane Rouilli Treasurer, Tracey Massey Travel Registrar, Dayle Schwesinger Town League Registrar, Pegi Scott Director of Fields/Scheduling, Larry Zensen Director of Training, Pete Massey Director of Sponsors, Jackie Sterner Director of Public Relations, Karen Erickson Director of Travel Teams, Clare Charles Director of Coaches, Mark Miller Director of Town Referees, TJ O'Leary Director of Town League, Bill Prickett Respectfully submitted, Sparta Soccer Club Board of Directors, representing our membership