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Global Premier Soccer to begin field improvements Monday

BEDFORD — Global Premier Soccer New Hampshire has won approval from the town council to move forward with building a new all-season soccer field, with construction set to begin Monday.

At Wednesday night’s council meeting, representatives from GPS requested authorization for building permits and improvements to its facilities on Camp Road. A staff report recommended the authorization of all permits.

“Allowing building permits to be issued to GPS will have a positive fiscal impact on the community as for the first time the soccer complex will be taxable through the conversion from a not-for-profit organization to a commercial one,” the report reads. “Based on the information we have, the Town Assessor indicates that the improvements would increase the value by approximately $1.6M over the current land only value. The town does not maintain Camp Road or assume any responsibility for it so there will be no costs to the town for the proposed upgrades.”

Public Works Director Jim Stanford said GPS would be responsible for grading Camp Road several times per year, as well as provide an engineering certification for the road.

The council voted unanimously to authorize the permits, with Vice Chairman Kelleigh Domaingue Murphy abstaining, as she is in talks with GPS to rent space on its property.

Lenny Webb, general manager of GPSNH, said GPS currently has four grass fields on Camp Road. Two of the fields will be resurfaced with AstroTurf and lights will be installed.

“It’s an all-weather complex, so we’re not (going to be) worried about fields being closed or not being on a field because it’s too wet,” Webb said. GPS also runs the town’s recreational soccer league, so the town will have privileges to use GPS’ improved fields.

Webb said the project is expected to be complete by the end of the summer, no later than the first week of September.

“Our season doesn’t start until after Labor Day, which is late this year,” he said. “We shouldn’t have a problem to be ready for them.”

Because GPS’ Bedford complex is located on a private road, Webb does not expect there to be any disruptions to neighbors as a result of the project.

“It’s not like we’re moving into a new area,” he said. “Literally, all we’re doing is putting turf onto grass fields ... It’s just going to be a better usage for players to play on and extended playing opportunities as well for our players.”

Webb said the improved facilities are a response to a demand for soccer among area youth.

“Soccer’s a big sport,” he said, adding that GPS has one of the best boys’ soccer programs in the region. “It’s really the next step of the evolution of what soccer is. You want it all well surfaced so the players can continue to play year-round.”

The groundbreaking for the improved fields is slated for 8 a.m. Monday.

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