New Castle OKs second soccer field for Amsterdam Park

By Elizabeth Ganga • The Journal News • December 3, 2010

NEW CASTLE — The transformation of a former estate in the west end of town into a sports-oriented park will be complete over the next year or so now that the Town Board has approved a contract for a second soccer and lacrosse field at Amsterdam Park.

Sports organizations have long argued that the town needs more fields to accommodate booming programs and were disappointed by a decision in 2008 to build only one field on the 13-acre property bought by the town in 1998 from IBM. After meeting with town leaders they were able to get the support of the Town Board for a second field.

"I think it will be a great addition to our inventory of fields," said John Re, a soccer coach, American Youth Soccer Organization board member and chairman of the town’s Recreation Commission. "We are so pressed for fields on a week-to-week basis something had to happen."

To deal with the shortage, AYSO was renting fields at SUNY Purchase.

"It will certainly alleviate some of the issue," Re said, adding that it will also allow better maintenance of the fields. The new field at Amsterdam Park on Hoag Cross Road will be the town’s eighth sports field.

The Town Board approved the contract with Vernon Hills Contracting for $330,120. Recreation Superintendent Robert Snyder said if possible, the work will begin this winter.

"I would like, in a perfect world, to have the field available next fall," he said. If it’s not quite ready for play, it will have to wait till spring 2012.

The first field and the park infrastructure, including restrooms, a playground, electrical connections, the road and parking, cost $1,151,010. A second field in the contract would have been about $200,000 more, officials said.

Concerns about traffic to the park in combination with plans by the Upper Westchester Muslim Society to build a 24,690-square-foot mosque and Islamic center on more than 8 acres nearby drove the earlier decision to build only one field.

The Town Board was at one point considering putting eight affordable apartments on the Amsterdam property along with the fields but dropped those plans in 2003 amid intense neighborhood opposition.