If all goes as planned, Plainview's professional-grade turf athletic field will be ready for its home football opener.
And if Plainview chose to, some of its games could be played under the lights.
Those were the clear messages delivered Wednesday night at a public meeting with school officials and representatives of the Town of Oyster Bay. It was news that had members of the school board, coaches and sports boosters beaming.
"This represents the culmination of a lot of hard work on the part of a lot of people," said Hal Mayer, the town's environmental consultant.
Michael Spinelli, the town's architect for this project, described the work as "straight forward."
Essentially, the existing playing field at Plainview JFK will be excavated to the required depth. Drainage and other devices will be installed. Then, a state-of-the-art artificial turf will be placed on top. The existing track surface and stands will remain as they are, at least for now.
The town has also agreed to include field lighting as part of the project, Mayer said. Beams from the modern lighting poles are directed at the field and won't flood the neighborhood with light, school officials said.
The new playing surface will be installed beginning sometime in late May and take about three months to complete, Mayer said. If the summer weather cooperates, the field should be ready to play on in September, Mayer said.
It won't only be used for football. The new field will be home to high school and area league team sports including lacrosse and soccer for both boys and girls.
"This is an absolutely top of the line product," Spinelli said of the field surface. "It's the same as the pro's use."
The field covering itself has a lifespan of 10-15 years. The subterranean structure that holds it would last much longer.
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Using long-term bonds, the town has agreed to finance the new field in Plainview as it has in other nearby communities, including Bethpage. The cost figures were still not finalized Wednesday night, Mayer said.
Both the town and the school district get value out of the new field, a legal requirement on such projects, Mayer said.
The bargain that has yet to be finalized allows Plainview schools to use the field during typical school hours. Other community organizations, including local football, soccer and lacrosse leagues, will be able to book time on the field around the school schedule.
A similar arrangement is in place with other town sports facilities and is, in fact, in place now with Plainview's existing natural grass playing fields, officials said.