Colchester Athletic Field Task Force and Park and Recreation Commission vote to partner with Foundation to develop Windham Avenue property into multipurpose ballfield in honor of Cody.
For Immediate Release
Potential Ballfield Location Identified
Timeline: April 30, 2007, Colchester, CT
For the past year and a half, the Athletic Facilities Task Force has worked diligently in pursuit of its ultimate goal of recommending to the Town what facilities are needed over the next ten years, as well as where those facilities could most feasibly be developed. At this week’s meeting, they took a large step forward by voting to recommend a particular site for field development, with the hopes of partnering with the Cody Camp Memorial Field Foundation to bring that part of the plan to fruition.
Working with Vollmer Associates, the architects hired by the Task Force through generous private donations, some potential sites have been considered for the facilities, all of which are on town-owned land. Knowing the interest of the foundation to work with the Town, the Task Force put its earliest effort on locating an appropriate site for a ballfield. At its April 25th meeting, the Task Force voted to recommend a little league size field, along with an overlapping rectangular all-purpose field, parking and site improvements, to be built on land that sits along the Colchester Spur of the Air Line Trail, with access from Windham Avenue.
The task force still has a few months worth of work to do to complete its final report and recommendations, but thought the plan could create an exciting opportunity to work with the foundation. The foundation has accrued significant financial donations, as well as commitments of services, in order to construct a ballfield in memory of Cody Camp, a 6-year-old boy who passed away last year due to cancer. Cody was an avid baseball player and fan and the foundation felt that building a field such as this would be an appropriate way to remember him.
At an earlier meeting where the site was first proposed, Bob McGovern, president of the Foundation, expressed great interest in working with the Town to achieve both groups’ goals. “The foundation committee is excited about working with the town to achieve both our long-term goals. We believe this is a fantastic opportunity to help the town address its athletic field deficit while memorializing a 6 year old boy who loved the game of baseball.”
Jason Cohen, Parks & Recreation Director and Task Force member, agreed, saying, “It’s really a perfect site for a ballfield. Not only is it accessible from both the trail and Windham Avenue, but the area is served by both water and sewer utilities.”
Board of Selectmen member, Greg Cordova, added, “This Town owned property seemed to be the most appropriate location to achieve an important first step towards our 10 year plan while working with the Cody Camp Foundation, and could potentially attract more individuals’ awareness to utilize the airline trail".
The vote of the Task Force will now send its recommendation on to the Board of Selectmen. If the Board approves of the site after a review of the recommendation, it would separately have to approve a formal partnership between the Town and the Foundation in order for the project to move forward as envisioned.
Based on the data collected during over a year of research, the Task Force is planning to recommend: a community center including an indoor pool, five multipurpose ballfields, reconstruction of the Bacon Academy track along with artificial turf and lighting, lighting of the remaining fields at the Recreation Complex, additional walking trails, and additional playgrounds where appropriate. Continued research is still needed to determine the most feasible locations for these facilities, as well as possible alternative funding sources.