After more than 10 years without renovations, a well-used field is finally on the path to recovery.
The Fort Hamilton High School field in the heart of Bay Ridge will be reconstructed in the near future thanks to funding secured by Councilmember Vincent Gentile.
“I had one goal in mind during this year’s budget process – to address as many needs as I could to improve as many lives as I could,” said Gentile. “I believe we were successful in doing so in this budget.”
The new budget will allocate $4 to 5 million to replace the synthetic turf of the field with new state-of-the-art synthetic turf, as well as resurface the track, according to Gentile. The exact amount will be determined by fall, but no definitive start date for the project has been announced, he added.
An online petition created eight months ago calling for renovations to the field and depicting the deplorable conditions of the track garnered nearly 1,500 supporters.
“This is a huge victory for Fort Hamilton High School. Students will surely feel that their voices were heard,” said former Student Organization president Nick Koven. “Fort Hamilton’s athletes, who practice year round and are dedicated to their respective sports, will finally get proper training and playing facilities that are safe and practical.”
More than 4,300 students make use of the track and field during the school year, as well as many local residents when school is not in session.
“For the Bay Ridge community, this renovation will ensure that the neighborhood will continue to thrive,” said Koven. “Growing up in Bay Ridge, I spent much of my youth playing numerous sports at Fort Hamilton. The residents, especially children, of Bay Ridge deserve an athletic complex that meets their needs and can ensure that their neighborhood continues to be active, healthy and safe.”