The Town of Oyster Bay is currently working on developing a community park next to County Pointe in Plainview, where the current Peter C. Collins Soccer Park is located.
“We’re in a conceptual design phase right now,” Town of Oyster Bay spokesperson Brian Nevin said. “We’re trying to meet the needs of the current users as best we can in having a similar number of field facilities.”
The plan for building a community park stems from the initial approval for the Beechwood Organization, the Jericho developer who created County Pointe, to build 750 housing and commercial units in the hamlet. In the agreement, Beechwood would give up part of the 143.25 acres of land to the town for recreational purposes. The park is expected to be about 22 acres, which encompasses the soccer fields currently in place.
“We wanted to create a community park for the Plainview community, similar to other parks that we have, but at the same time being sensitive to the fact that a lot of groups have used these fields for the past couple of decades,” Nevin said. “We’re looking to minimize the displacement of those groups.”
The current concepts for the park would include four full-sized soccer fields and four youth fields. Nevin said that on a non-busy day at the park, they could have eight fields running at once. The current park has seven fields.
The park would also be used for baseball as the park could have two 90-feet baseball diamonds, as well as one that will be 60-feet. They are also including a cricket field in the concepts as well, which will double as two of the youth soccer fields.
“We are able to do that because of the way our staff has been able to design the area by having some of the fields be multi-use,” Nevin said. “Where a couple of the soccer fields are, they overlap a couple of 90-foot baseball diamonds. This way we’re maximizing the space for different groups at different times.”
Cameron Engineering and Associates LLP will review the concepts to make sure that the layout is accurate and feasible, and will figure out the estimated cost of the facility. Beechwood will be putting down a minimum of $1 million to fund the construction, which was agreed upon when the development was initially approved. The hope is to have a more concrete idea of the cost and further solidify the overall plan by the end of April.
“People are excited to welcome the new facility in their community,” Deputy Town Supervisor Gregory Carman said. “[Baseball] diamonds are at a shortage in the community and there’s been a long call for them. We want to make sure that all sports have access to facilities in the town.”
The town is deciding on plans to find homes for groups that will be temporarily misplaced when construction is underway. One of the ideas is to open up the newly-renovated Allen Park in Farmingdale to some of the groups who have been misplaced, but nothing has been decided as of yet.
“We’re going to be able to accommodate the user groups throughout the town so they can run their programs,” Nevin said.
Russ Bank, the president of the Plainview-Old Bethpage Soccer Club, said that the organization is looking forward to the redevelopment of the soccer park.
“We welcome and look forward to working with the town and its parks department now that development of plans for improvement [to] the park is nearing to ensure that the needs of Plainview-Old Bethpage Soccer, as well as those of other community sports and interests, are reflected in the development of plans for the park, giving the [more than] 1,300 children in our growing program a permanent home to play the game they love,” Bank said in a statement.
Visit www.oysterbaytown.com/departments/parks for more on the town’s parks.