April 10, 2019 By Laura Hanrahan
McCarren Park’s largest baseball field is set to undergo a $6 million revamp after years of wear and tear and poor drainage have damaged the field.
Representatives from the Parks Dept. presented the preliminary design plans at last night’s Community Board 1 meeting and focused on replacing the turf.
Gilroy Field, the largest of the three baseball fields in the park, is located in the center of the park’s most eastern section, between Bedford and Driggs Avenues. The grass, which has been worn down to the dirt in large patches, will be entirely replaced with new sod. The lighting surrounding the baseball diamond will be reconstructed, and new dugouts and spectator seating will be added.
A central asphalt path running between Gilroy Field and the two other diamonds will also be poured.
The ground under the ball field, last revamped in the 90s, has become compacted over the years, impacting the water catch basins underneath. With nowhere for the water to properly drain into, the field has become prone to flooding, damaging the grass.
The Parks Department plans to have the compacted earth removed, at which point it will entirely regrade the field.
Some board members raised concerns about park-goers using the baseball fields as an unofficial dog park, allowing their pets to run around off-leash, causing excessive damage to the lawn.
North Brooklyn Parks Director Mary Salig addressed the issue of dogs, stating that the department is enforcing the off-leash rules in McCarren.
While no funding is currently available to make improvements to the dog run in McCarren, which dogs owners at the Community Board meeting said was too small, Salig said it is something the Parks Dept. is looking into.
The ball field’s design is expected to be finalized by September of this year, at which point a nine-month procurement period will begin. Construction will start in the spring of 2020 with an anticipated completion date of spring 2021.