“I wanted to do this sooner than later,” said outgoing Brooklyn Councilmember Vincent Gentile prior to the unveiling of a rendering of a new field for Fort Hamilton High School during the halftime ceremony of the Tigers’ October 28 Homecoming Game with Lincoln High School.
Even though the original old grass field was replaced for the first time with an artificial surface in 2000, after 17 years of high volume use by the high school and the community; the playing field was now worn and had become as hard as pavement.
After the past few years of attempting to secure funding for this project, Gentile allocated $2.8 million from his budget for the $5.5 million price tag for the project. Gentile explained that without the help of $1.5 million allocated by New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and $1.25 million allocated by Borough President Eric Adams, this project would still be on the drawing board for years to come.
The new field will be installed by the USGreentech company and will feature state-of-the-art synthetic grass over an organic particle sub-surface for cushioning and drainage for this multi-sport field.
Besides a new baseball, softball, football and soccer field, renovations will also include a new scoreboard as well as a new perimeter track surface.
The project is scheduled to break ground in February, 2018 once the permits are secured from the New York City Department of Buildings, stated Fred Maley of the School Construction Authority, which will oversee construction through to the planned opening in February, 2019.
Finishing up the unveiling ceremony, Gentile addressed the students of his old alma mater and joked about playing football on the current field saying, “Today, once players are tackled they have to take two hits – once when they’re tackled and a second time when they hit the hard ground. In the future, you’ll only have to take one hit on this new field and get a softer landing!”