Development of Duggan Park will increase the City’s park & open space inventory by 22 acres, as the open scape behind John J. Duggan Academy will be transferred from the School Department to the Department of Parks, Building and Recreation Management to be maintained as a public park.
Duggan Park will be an age-friendly inclusive community park. As a community park resource, Duggan Park will offer city residents the following recreation and park opportunities: an accessible perimeter loop trail, accessible fitness course, community garden, two basketball courts, picnic tables, baseball/softball field, a synthetic turf athletic field with regulation track for multiple sports and outdoor track opportunities, landscaping and tree plantings.
The athletic complex, to be known as Ted Plumb Field, will provide a middle and high school level field for football, soccer, field hockey and lacrosse and a track for track and field events. The complex will also have lighting, bleachers, restrooms and a concession stand.
Additionally, development of the adjacent conservation area will offer a woodland walking trail, interpretive signage, and an outdoor classroom. The Community Garden, which will be maintained in collaboration with Duggan Academy, will offer raised planting beds, fruit trees, berry bushes, a compost area and a garden shed.
The total project budget is expected to be approximately $5.7 million.
The Baker-Polito Administration recently announced that the Duggan Park project was awarded $750,000 through the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) grant program. The LWCF grant program is offered by the National Park Service and administered by the Commonwealth through the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs Division of Conservation Services. Funding for this project will also include $350,000 in Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) and $250,000 in Community Preservation Act (CPA). The City will look to complete this project with a combination of funding sources that include municipal debt, unexpended bond proceeds from older projects, potential use of ARPA funds and other grant opportunities.
The City of Springfield recently went out to bid for a designer for Duggan field. Once a review of the architects is completed a recommendation will be made to the Office of Procurement. The chosen designer will then review the project and will provide options and cost estimates to the City for funding.
Mayor Sarno states, “I want to thank Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito and Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides for their continued support and investment in our Springfield parks and open spaces. I also want to thank Congressman Richard Neal and State Representative Bud Williams for their assistance. My Administration will now move forward to secure funding and start the city side of the process to make sure this project moves forward, much like what we accomplished at our Central High School field years ago, we will do the same at our Duggan field. I want to thank CAFO TJ Plante and Parks Director Patrick Sullivan for their continued commitment to enhancing the amenities of our parks and athletic fields. This project, which is desperately needed at our Duggan field, continues my Administrations commitment to our youth and sports and we are all looking forward to reviewing this project as it moves along and seeing it to completion. Also, as I have stated, this will replace and once again be named after legendary coach Thomas ‘Ted’ Plumb. Plumb field was originally at the old Putnam Technical Vocational (Trade) High School.”
“The federal Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) grant program has allowed for cities and towns across Massachusetts and our country to make meaningful investments in their parks, trails, and conservation areas,” said Congressman Richard E. Neal, Chair of the House Committee on Ways and Means. “This grant that the City of Springfield will be using to make improvements at Duggan field will provide community recreation improvements for all those who use the facilities. Investing in our parks is critical. Not only do they provide residents with environmental benefits, they improve our quality of life. Congratulations to Mayor Sarno and his team for their continued stewardship of our green spaces.”
PBRM Director Sullivan states, “The improvements and enhancements planned for our Duggan field is desperately needed and will greatly benefit our youth, athletes and their families. Thanks to Congressman Richard E. Neal and Governor Charlie Baker for awarding the City this funding through the federal LWCF grant program. This project aligns with the Mayors goals for resilient green infrastructure and improved open spaces throughout the city. The Park Commission is grateful to Mayor Sarno in allocating city funding which can work to secure a designer/architect to move this project forward.”
State Representative Bud Williams said, “I appreciate the Baker-Polito Administration for awarding $750,000 for our Duggan Park. Thanks to Congressman Richard Neal for securing these federal funds and to Mayor Sarno and Parks Director Patrick Sullivan for their leadership on making these outdoor recreation projects that support our youth and families happen. These scheduled improvements will greatly enhance our neighborhood and benefit the children at our Duggan Academy with a field, track and other amenities. It will also be great to have our old Plumb Field back, named after our old coach Ted Plump.”