BERKELEY – Local officials and the Pepe family broke ground on the turf field at Sam Pepe Memorial Stadium near Veterans Park.
The park is located on Veterans Boulevard. Heading down the driveway, most of the ball fields are on the right. The turf field is being installed on the left. It will be used for various sports, including football, soccer, and a lacrosse program that is in the works.
“Initially the field will be used for games, but its use could be expanded for practices and other purposes in the future,” Mayor Carmen Amato said. “This state-of-the-art field is also maintenance-free and has the potential to be used 24/7 since we won’t need to utilize township staff to maintain the fields. This is a great opportunity for the athletes and residents of Berkeley Township.”
Joseph Robertazzi, president of the Berkeley Golden Eagles, said this was a great thing for kids in town and joked that it would save on laundry for the families.
Central Regional Superintendent Triantafillos Parlapanides said this will make Berkeley the premiere town for athletics and recreation, and praised it as a revenue-earner for the town. Central also has a turf field.
Alan Dittenhofer from Remington & Vernick Engineers, who completed the design work, stated that there will be a construction camera on site that will photograph the job site every five minutes. The camera will be placed on the scoreboard so residents can see the work in progress.
The project cost $804,000, but $750,000 of that came from the State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Green Acres Program. The remainder is the township’s responsibility.
The estimated completion is Aug. 1, officials said.