See Morrison Revitalized!
Westwood Little League is posting regular updates and pictures about all the work being done to revitalize Morrison Park on WLL's Facebook page . Check it out and like the page while there!
Further information about the Project is contained on WLL's website under the Revitalize Morrison tab. Anybody wishing to purchase a brick to be placed at the new entrance or to make another donation, can do so easily and securely at the Contributions tab.
Planning for the project has been underway for some time
- In 2010 WLL and the Westwood Recreation Commission began discussions concerning redevelopment of Morrison. Specifically, the discussions focused on ways to construct a regulation Little League field which did not then exist due to the tennis courts which encroached into right field.
- Throughout 2011, WLL and various Town departments including DPW, Recreation and the Town Manager discussed all aspects of improving Morrison. WLL hired an architect who completed conceptual plans by the end of 2011.
- In January, 2012, the proposal was presented to the Selectman who indicated preliminary support. WLL continued moving forward with architectural and engineering work and coordinating its efforts closely with Town officials.
- In July, 2012 after incorporation of community input, the Selectman formally voted to approve the project.
- In September and October of 2012, WLL completed design drawings and obtained both Planning Board and Zoning Board approval.
Construction began several weeks ago with the removal of the obsolete courts, the removal of the old baseball field and the commencement of Phase I of the Project (discussed more below).
Extensive construction work is underway. Recent accomplishments include installation of a new irrigation system, installation of a sewer line (which will serve a new concession stand and restrooms), completion of excavation work for the dugouts and scorers’ area, the construction of fieldstone retaining walls and the pouring of foundations. Sod will go down soon. WLL is using the services of Tom Bean, a long-time resident who grew up playing on the field and who coaches in the league now. WLL is also consulting with Dennis Brolin of Sports Turf Specialties, Inc. who was introduced to the League through David Mellor, the Head Groundskeeper of Fenway Park. While WLL is managing the ballfield improvements, the Town is simulataneously working to have a beautiful new tennis court installed.
The Future of the Project
The Project consists of two phases. Phase I is currently underway and will result in the total reconstruction of the existing field which will meet regulation Little League dimensions of 200 feet to the outfield wall. When Phase I is done by Opening Day 2013, the new Morrison will have not only a regulation field but an additional hitting cage (for a total of two), the addition of two bullpens, roofed dugouts with storage space for bags and helmets, an enhanced scoreboard, improved spectator seating, new scorers both, improved storage and more.
Phase II will begin next August after the conclusion of baseball. Phase II will involve the construction of the new restroom facility and new concession stand as part of the new improved entrance to the Park. When completed, Westwood will have a terrific venue for children and their families who visit. For example, for the first time in many years, WLL will serve as host in 2013 to a Sectional Little League Tournament playoff game -- something that was not possible with the prior, non-regulation field. Moreover, the changes will improve the aesthetics and safety of the current Park bringing a real benefit to the community at large.
Major leadership support for the project has been obtained to date from Roche Bros and Catherine and Patrick Roche as well as Ellen and Duncan McFarland. Grant applications are pending with a variety of charitable foundations. On November 19, 2012, the Dedham Savings Charitable Foundation announced that the Project had been selected as a beneficiary of one of its charitable grants. In addition, WLL has instituted a brick selling campaign as part of a grassroots community support initiative. Recently, a Friends of Morrison Group has formed to help with grassroots community fundraising.
WLL is grateful for the leadership sponsors and all those that have already stepped forward to purchase a brick or make a donation. This is an important community project deserving community support.
Please do not hesitate to contact any member of the WLL board listed on the WLL website (westwoodlittleleague.com). Contributions to the project may be made by visiting the WLL website and clicking on the “Revitalize Morrison” tab at the top and following through to the Contribute Now link. Thank you!