“We've renovated and created over 100 acres of parkland on my watch, and we're just getting started. This is an investment in our future and in our children as we continue to make Bridgeport a place where families choose to raise their kids and grandkids.” – Mayor Bill Finch
Bridgeport, Conn. (March 18, 2015) – North End Little Leaguers this spring will play on three brand-new, state-of-the-art turf fields as part of an ambitious initiative by Mayor Bill Finch to ensure every city kid can walk to a nearby park.
“We've renovated and created over 100 acres of parkland on my watch, and we're just getting started,” said Mayor Finch, standing with parents and neighborhood kids who will be playing on the latest new fields on Thorme Street at Blackham School. “This is an investment in our future and in our children as we continue to make Bridgeport a place where families choose to raise their kids and grandkids.”
The fields will be completed in late April.
“We’re excited and grateful. These new fields will be an enormous step forward for the North End Little League and for the entire North End community as a whole,” said Joe Badolato, a league official. “The kids are so excited.”
Construction has been ongoing throughout the winter. And, Badolato wanted to clear up any confusion after hearing speculation that fields were going to be replaced with condos.
“That couldn’t be further from the truth. When you see the fields, they will be a beautiful sight to behold,” he said. “We’re asking all children who want to play baseball on our brand new fields to come down and register so they can play baseball this spring.”
Registration for the North End Little League will be held on March 21 and March 28 for the upcoming season. For information, call 203-382-4645 or visit online eteamz.com/northendll or at facebook.com/NELLBPT.
The new fields at Blackham School will include the same artificial turf used professional baseball stadiums as well as new dugouts, scoreboards and backstops.
Shortstop T.J. Serrano and his sister Mariah stopped this week to check on the progress.
“I can’t wait,” he said.
Granger Foundation donated $10,000 toward the complex. The city has been collaborating with the Cal Ripken Foundation as Mayor Finch continues to upgrade parks.
The facility will host three ball fields, including an all-inclusive field that will accommodate people with special needs, according to Jorge Garcia, the city’s director of public facilities. And, drainage on the artificial turf will translate to more time playing and less down time for kids.
“As soon as any rain stops, kids can be back on the diamond playing ball,” Garcia said.
“This is a community asset. We are upgrading and building new parks all around the city,” said Mayor Finch. “We won’t stop until we have a park and playground within walking distance for every kid in Bridgeport.”