Town Applies For Grant To Build 2nd Synthetic Ballfield

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If all goes well, Rumsey Park could soon boast a second state-of-the-art multipurpose field similar to the one built in 1997.


Half of the funds for the construction of the artificial surface playing field would come from a $390,000 Heritage Fund grant which Payson Parks and Recreation Director Bill Schwind is in the process of applying for.


Should the grant be awarded, park development impact fees would be used to match the Heritage funds and complete the project, Schwind said.


The application for the grant must be submitted to the Arizona State Parks Board by Feb. 29. The recipients will be announced in September.


Schwind is optimistic the town will receive the grant.


"We have shown a real need. Our (participation) numbers are going through the roof, and I think we have put together a good (grant) package," he said.


In addition to being used for the rapidly growing Parks and Rec-sponsored activities, the field, Schwind said, would be a big boost to the school district.


Longhorn soccer games could be played there, as could a myriad of other activities including football.


While the proposed facility would feature the same Synthennico playing surface used on the first Rumsey field, it would be larger than the original.


"This one will be big enough for a full-size football or soccer field," Schwind said.


The advantage of the artificial playing surface is that it requires very little maintenance and upkeep.


Schwind estimates the artificial surface saves the town over two million gallons of water each year as compared to a similar size grass field.


In building the first Synthennico field, the Parks and Rec Department found itself playing the role of innovator because few such facilities were in existence in the United States.


After three years of use, the field has turned out to be everything town officials had hoped for and more, Schwind said.


The outstanding features of the first field, along with evident need, has Schwind and town officials eagerly anticipating the building of a similar facility to help eliminate the overcrowding that currently exits.


"We are limited in what we can do. This (a new field) will be a big boost," Schwind said.


If the grant is received, the field will be built where the newly-vacated rodeo grounds once stood.

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