HOLLIS — Plans to construct a new, artificial turf football field behind Hollis/Brookline High School are being reviewed by the local planning board.
Andrew Corey, superintendent of the Hollis/Brookline school district, said the existing football field would remain, and a new, multipurpose field would be constructed under the proposed plans.
“The turf field would become the primary game field,” he told the board recently, explaining the existing field used by soccer, lacrosse and football would then be used by junior-varsity teams to eliminate heavy use on other town fields.
The plans include the construction of a sports field, gravel parking lot with 34 spaces, a score board, spectator seating and lighting.
“The majority of football games would be played on the new turf,” said Corey.
Brad Mezquita of Tighe and Bond said a hybrid polypropylene material would be used for the turf field, which would include a combination of slit film and monofilament fibers.
The field will include a top turf with infill, a middle level with a shock pad and a stone sub-base system, according to Mezquita.
“This is actually a fill site,” Mark Fougere, town planner, told the board.
About 238,000 square feet of woods will be disturbed for construction, and a series of detention ponds are being proposed as part of the project, said Fougere.
Planning board members recently visited the site of the proposed field.
“There are going to be hundreds, if not thousands, of trees that are going to need to be cut,” said Doug Cleveland, planning board member.
Board members also expressed concerns about noise and light pollution from the newly proposed sports field, as well as the heat generated from the turf during hot summer days. Fougere said he is asking the school district to consider limiting noise impacts to abutters, specifically related to the field’s sound system.
Four 70-feet high light poles are being proposed, which Mezquita said are as low as possible to provide adequate light coverage.
Corey said the school district will work with abutters to be good neighbors and keep the decibel levels low while the sound system is in use.
Some concerns about the nearby Beaver Brook property were raised by Tom Davies of the Beaver Brook Association.
He said the project will encroach on the wetlands buffer, and urged the board to prohibit runoff from traveling into the wetlands or the Beaver Brook site.
“I hope and pray that this board does not let the Hollis/Brookline School District steamroll over you and approve what they want to have done,” said Marty McLaughlin of Main Street.
McLaughlin, who lives adjacent to the high school, said he owns the right-of-way that goes through the proposed field area.
Last month, Fougere said he asked the school board to resolve the easement issue with McLaughlin, as well as relocating select drainage so that it is not directed into Beaver Brook.