RVC, Molloy Announce $6 Million Sports Proposal

Molloy would upgrade the village athletic fields in exchange for usage during its sports seasons.

The village has announced a proposed agreement with to upgrade four existing athletic fields with synthetic turf and to create one new one, providing multi-purpose playing fields for soccer, baseball, softball, field hockey and lacrosse.

According to the proposal, Molloy would pay the full $6 million cost of the upgrades at the , Lister Field and Centennial Park in return for gaining home fields for its softball, field hockey and baseball teams.

In making this announcement, Mayor Francis Murray said the proposal is still subject to legislative review.

“When this agreement is completed, it will be a win-win for Molloy and for the residents of Rockville Centre,” Murray said. “Our local sports organizations are gaining first-class, synthetic surface fields where now they have many fields in terrible condition. Rockville Centre’s fields are going from worst to first, all at no cost to the taxpayers."

The proposal calls for the creation of three multiple use, synthetic turf fields meeting National Collegiate Athletic Association standards for field hockey, baseball and softball, and at the same time expanding the number of fields available to Rockville Centre’s sports organizations.

The Rockville Centre Soccer Club will be able to use three new synthetic turf fields, two new natural turf fields and two new practice fields, one synthetic turf and one natural.

“We are excited to have these village athletic fields developed to a level that reflects the outstanding quality of our athletic programs,” said Soccer Club President Patti Leboff.

The Rockville Centre Little League will also be able to play and practice on four new synthetic turf fields and on three new tee-ball fields, two synthetic turf and one on clay.

"This is an ambitious plan based upon a unique opportunity to significantly improve our fields,” said Little League President Tom Bucaria.

Under the proposal, Klein Field at the Skelos Sports Complex will gain the NCAA regulation women’s softball field with a clay infield and a fenced, synthetic turf outfield, with room left for a tee-ball field that can also be used for practice.

Lister Field on Sunrise Highway will have the synthetic turf NCAA regulation field hockey venue that will have multi-purpose markings: the new field can accommodate three youth soccer games at once, or two Little League games, or two tee-ball games or lacrosse.

Further south at Centennial Park, the current Barasch/Pette fields will be turned into the fenced, synthetic turf NCAA baseball field. When not in use for baseball, the field, which will measure 330 feet down the left and right field lines and 400 feet in center, can also accommodate a large soccer/lacrosse practice field.

Across South Park Avenue, the current Ketler/Bligh fields will be combined into a fenced baseball field with a synthetic turf infield and either 75-feet or 90-feet base paths. The field, whose outfield fence measures 290 feet, 360 feet and 260 feet, left to right, can also accommodate two youth soccer fields.

Further south, the Village’s former debris holding site will become a large, natural turf practice field.

According to the proposal, Molloy would use the NCAA fields during their respective seasons for games and practice. Molloy has home games in the three sports during parts of April, May, August, September, October and November. The village estimates that Molloy would occupy the fields about 20 percent of the available time.

EJ's son March 07, 2012 at 12:44 AM
Frank you've answered your own questions vis a vis Morgan Days, it isn't being developed for the same reason Hickey isn't - It doesn't lend itself to a NCAA level set up. Molloy's six million is about Molloy - not about RVC. That being said - if this deal goes south because of environmental issues etc., you bet they will look at Kennedy. They already got a sweet deal from Nassau County at Bay Park, so they are not bound to us. It's hard to imagine natural turf fields holding up to the amount of use these fields will get. If our Parks dept could maintain a grass field - we wouldn't need Molloy in the first place. I say get Avalon Bay to chip in a million for Morgan Days -
Frank March 07, 2012 at 03:15 PM
@ EJ. Well seems obvious to me that "not lending itself to collegiate play" is an extreme cop out by the executive staff at Molloy. Morgan Days is much more expansive than Bligh field. From what I gather from all the OMC sympathizers on Patch, OMC needs more investment to "turn around" the area. What could be better than NCAA level playing fields? Guess Molloy feels the same way about Morgan Days and OMC as the rest of RVC. All I know is I've fished at Morgan Days (during the day) and no one ever bothered me. BTW, since no else really fishes there, the fish are HUGE! I say it's high time to take back this section of town and utilize the space for all of RVC (and Molloy) to enjoy. Only thing you have to fear is fear itself!
EJ's son March 08, 2012 at 12:52 AM
In fairness to Molloy execs - they never said that directly. That was me reading between the lines.
Frank March 08, 2012 at 03:06 PM
@ EJ. The omission of Morgan Days Park from the Molloy Park Project speaks volumes.
ERsanity March 19, 2012 at 04:14 PM
There has never been a fence surrounding Bligh and Kettler Fields and there is no practical reason for fencing it in now. By planting a natural, landscaped border around the park (trees, shrubbery, tall grasses, etc.) you can protect the playing areas of the park in an aesthetically pleasing way. While there is a need for a fence along South Park Avenue (as there currently is) there is not need to fence in the entire park. Rockville Centre and neighboring East Rockaway and Lynbrook are beautiful small villages, not municipal stadiums. By putting up an ugly chain link/cyclone fence around the park, you are lower the value of the park – and the neighborhood. Like Frank said, these fields are used for more than just baseball and soccer. Children use the field for flying kites, playing Frisbee, bike riding and pickup football games. Families fish along the banks of the Mill River and launch kayaks into its waters. By closing in the fields with a fence you are closing off access and keeping the public out. It should also be noted that these fields are used by the village for parking for the annual fireworks display. If you fence in these fields and redirect the parking to the debris field, you are asking for a traffic jam of epic proportions.
John March 19, 2012 at 08:58 PM
BRAVO !!!!! Lets get this done before they change there mind.GREAT JOB MAYOR MURRAY.
ERsanity March 20, 2012 at 04:00 PM
Bligh and Lister are also the only fields (aside from the debris area) that is not getting the artificial turf treatment. Only the infield will have turf. While they do plan to re-sod it, I would think that the grass will never have a chance, since it will used for baseball AND soccer, instead of just baseball. I think the better use of the space would be to put the little league field in the debris site (where kids will be protected from the lunatics on South Park, the houses and cars will be protected from foul balls and home runs) and make Bligh and Kettler into open space that can be uses for any number of activities (soccer, kites, touch-football, fireworks parking). You could make it into a central point for Lister and a debris site baseball field. Just a thought.
Frank March 20, 2012 at 05:46 PM
I agree with Drew. leave bligh field alone.
ERsanity March 20, 2012 at 09:54 PM
Not sure if this means they're starting the process, but there are blue and red flags along the edge of the Bligh and Kettler along Riverside Road.
John Q Public March 23, 2012 at 12:06 PM
they were doing soil testing yesterday. ps do you parents of RVC kids know the dangers of Turf? a lot of colleges are getting rid of it as it is a carcinogen with poisonous chemicals that leach out both into the players and the ground water, in this case, Mill River. Has anyone contacted the NYS Dept of Conservation? They might have a thing or two to say about this. PS Is Bligh Field getting lights or not? The mayor told me 'no new lights' but in the next sentence said Bligh field was ALREADY lit. Which it isn't.
John Q Public March 23, 2012 at 12:32 PM
Mike Boranian March 23, 2012 at 01:14 PM
Can you name a single college that has removed the precise same field that is being proposed here because that field has been determined to be composed of cancer causing products? I do not think you can. There is absoloutely no scientific evidence or proof to support what you have said, If you can back it up with proof please do so but I do not think you can. And if you can't you shouldn't just make stuff up or repeat rumors just to fan the flames or to try t get people over to your side. Stick to the real issue here--whetehr this is a legitimate use of Village space and whether the deal as proposed is a legitmate, tho partial, surrender of our rights to use that space.
ERsanity March 23, 2012 at 02:36 PM
FYI, according the plan, Bligh and Kettler will only have artificial Turf in the infield. The outfield will be grass. At least the infield won't be covered in goose cr#p.
ERsanity March 23, 2012 at 02:51 PM
I've heard that the new field in the dumps will not have lights. Haven't heard one way or another about lights in Bligh/Kettler. I'd clarify with him.
ERsanity March 23, 2012 at 03:54 PM
Common Sense - If the use of synthetic turf is an issue to John Q, then it's a real issue - and one that is no more (or less) important than your concern over the use of village space.
Mike Boranian March 23, 2012 at 04:35 PM
Drew: What? The "issue" John Q raises is no issue at all!! His comment is meant to raise tension and frighten people in the neighborhood but lacks any basis in fact. The only "issue" is whether the people of this Village are willing to support this plan of use for their (the Villages) space. To suggest that the fundamental issue here (use of public space) is somehow equal in weight to a made up,completely false scare tactic is itself utterly preposterous.
EJ's son March 23, 2012 at 08:55 PM
You know what would be nice - If the Mayor and Molloy would actually share the master plan intsead of 3 aerial photos from Google Earth with overlays. Then hold a public hearing and answer everybody's questions. That would be a repsonsible way to gauge public interest and enthusiasm (or lack there of). But instead we get a press release and not much else. Klein field has already been ceded to Molloy so our girls softball league has been displaced - with no replacement field. It makes it difficult to get behind the plan - when the plan is being released in dribs and drabs.
Frank March 23, 2012 at 09:50 PM
@ EJ. You're 100% on the money. But all we get is silence on real issues. Guess people prefer reading the mindless blogs on Patch, like "liking yourself". Give me a break, how about pick-forking the administration into full disclosure and real action. this town's going nowhere fast with secret agendas. Glad I'm outta here soon. Can't wait to savor the real estate and village tax savings. @ $25,000/yr back in my pocket, I can afford to buy a brand new Larson LX 850 or a VW Jetta TDI every year!!! In ten years I'll save $250,000! Imagine that. Quater million for retirement. Who couldn't use that? The OMC peeps are on to something real folks. We should move away from RVC. Let the whole town go section 8 and let them enjoy the Molloy renovated ball fields, that is, if Molloy lets anyone on the fields to begin with.
ERsanity March 23, 2012 at 10:52 PM
The turf is an issue, because they have yet to say what kind of turf they are using. There are a few different kinds, and I'd like to think they are using the "good" kind. But until they say which turf they're using, it will remain an issue. Aside from carcinogen concerns (which admittedly are minimal), there is the issue of drainage. I'm not sure if just any kind of turf can be used right next to a body of water (especially the brackish water of the Mill River). I'm curious what turn will do the water/environment AND vice versa. Salt water beats the cr#p out of everything.
John Q Public March 23, 2012 at 10:58 PM
Does anyone know if they are putting lights in Bligh Field? The mayor told me 'no new lights in any fields without lights' and went on to say Bligh was already a 'lit field'. I told him it was NOT currently lit, so now I'm more confused than ever. I started a facebook page, please check it out, LIKE it and lets have more conversations. I would like Molloy and RVC to meet with us in about 3-4 weeks and answer our questions. A rep. from the County suggested that the Mayor of ER and the Board sue RVC with an injunction to stop the work until we have some guarantees. I don't see ER doing this, but is anyone a lawyer? Know a lawyer? We need to stay in touch and I'm worried that this conversation might be taken down at some point. Come to https://www.facebook.com/BlighKettler
John Q Public March 31, 2012 at 01:12 PM
There are three main health concerns regarding artificial turf fields. First, the ‘blades’ of grass in older fields contain dangerous levels of lead. With wear and tear children are at risk of ingesting lead-laden dust. Lead is a potent toxin and manifests as behavioral disorders and lower IQ. Second, the tire crumb infill contains polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) which are known to cause cancer. It is common for children to become covered with the tire crumb during play. Ingestion or inhalation of the tire crumb might increase the risk of certain cancers. Finally, artificial playing fields are hot. Temperatures on field surfaces during hot, sunny weather have been recorded as high as 160 degrees F. This confers a risk for heat related illnesses like heat exhaustion and dehydration. There is no current consensus on the risk to children from playing on artificial turf fields. The US Environmental Protection Agency states, “there is no definitive study that fully addresses all of the questions regarding safety considerations associated with the use of synthetic turf and/or crumb rubber fields.” New York City’s parks department no longer uses tire crumb on its artificial turf fields and several other municipalities are considering moratoriums on the installation of new fields until definitive safety studies are completed.
John Q Public March 31, 2012 at 01:14 PM
The above was found on line. There is a huge amount of controversy re Turf fields. Not only are places removing them, but many more are refusing them. Mill River is a protected water area...should not have chemical run off....
John March 31, 2012 at 03:04 PM
This is a done deal lets move on....
Mike Boranian April 02, 2012 at 07:43 PM
There are now thousands of these fields in use across the USA and have been for more than a decade yet there has yet to be any study done that proves the alegations you level. The lack of consensus you reference exists because the allegations cannot be proven. Yes, there was logical concern early on but that concern has abated because there is no science to justify it. Do you really think that the Mayor of this Village (your personal politics aside, assuming thet differ from his) would put the children ( including his grandchildren) of this village at risk if there were evidence that the materials at issue were unsafe? Do you think the President of Molloy would get away with placing his student atheletes at risk? It just doesn't make sense that they would do that. The NCAA, no matter what you might think of it, has a say in the construction of these fields as well and they do a pretty good job as a safety advocate for the kids. St Joseph's College out east has just put in a similar field. Colleges and high schools and communities thru out this state and region are doing it because it reduces long term costs and does so safely. It was,at one time, an issue It no longer is. John is right. It's time to move on!!
Lax25 April 09, 2012 at 10:38 PM
Does anyone know when the Cameron Engineering Report will be completed?
EJ's son April 09, 2012 at 11:44 PM
As soon as Mayor Murray finishes telling them what to put in it!
Think about it May 07, 2012 at 01:02 AM
Is that 20 % of a 24 hour day or 20 % of prime time playing times?
Think about it May 07, 2012 at 01:39 AM
Oh John, you keep bringing up perfect examples of projects that get pushed through, before they are thought through, and then proceed to fail. (Remember the Avalon Bay issue? and as to closing the police stations, there are no savings there it is just a political shell game, but I will stick to the present topic) The point here is, there should be input from the people that this RVC/Molloy alliance is going to affect on the receiving end not just on the political end of it. Whatever your occupation, you would be incensed to have someone who has never done your job decide what is the right equipment for you. No one has made clear delineations yet as to what the details of this arrangement are.... and that should make you concerned.
Think about it May 07, 2012 at 01:56 AM
Thank you Frank, I spoke to an authority in Hempstead, they would have really liked if Molloy came up there and those parks already have the size, lighting, fencing and parking that Molloy requires but they were snubbed for a Rockville Centre zip code ( I am putting that as descreetly as I can but read into this what you already know) ... and I am glad that you pointed out that indiscretion regarding Morgan Days Park.
Frank May 07, 2012 at 05:27 PM
@ Think about it. Glad you took the time to check on it. i'm sure Mayor Hall called "bull****" on the Kennedy pass. It is bull**** that RVC and Molloy are skipping Morgan Days. I think they're sidestepping it solely not to address the issues with crime emanating from OMC. With the money being dropped, we can make Morgan Days the safest park in Nassau County!!!


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