The multi-purpose turf field project led by Noah Alviti and others has reached a critical decision point due to opposition from our First Selectman Susan Chapman. A vote by our Board of Selectman (3 members) will occur on April 14 to determine whether this project will be approved or rejected. We need to demonstrate strong public support for this new turf field to convince our political town leaders to approve this project (the specific actions are explained at the bottom of this note).
To provide everyone with an updated overview of this turf field proposal to ensure a consistent understanding:
This is a self-funded project based on investments from various sports organizations in town and generous donations from members of the community. No funding is needed from the town of New Fairfield or the state of Connecticut. Almost $90,000 has been raised to support this project which represents a significant portion of the cost to install this turf field as additional fundraising effort remains in-progress.
Proposed location: conversion of a portion of the existing grass field located behind Rebel Turf field commonly referred to as “Lower Rebel” (for clarity, this is not the open space behind Rebel Turf scoreboard near the playground)
Field dimensions: approximately 200 feet long by 100 feet wide
This turf field will be available for use by all sports across all age groups.
This field will be named in memory of John Pendergast Jr. who worked on the creation of this grass field with his father and others. (As a side note, First Selectman Susan Chapman named John and Amy Pendergast as the Hometown Heroes for the town of New Fairfield earlier this year.)
While many town officials across the various functions of Health, Zoning, Building and Grounds have been very supportive of this project and providing guidance over the past several months, this project needs the approval of our New Fairfield First Selectman representing the “land owner” and she has raised the following concerns:
Funding to establish a reserve for the future replacement of this turf field: this action has been addressed with the commitments for a small increase in player field use fees aligned with the current turf field use fee process
Water run-off from the field impacting residents of Rita Drive: our hired engineer has designed an enhanced drainage and water distribution that will improve the distribution of water that exists with the current grass field
Tactical issues like these 2 items are completely understandable and addressable, but the overriding issue raised by our First Selectman is that she firmly believes that New Fairfield has enough fields which is why she will not support. No matter what I say or what Noah has documented to her in the attached notes below has influenced her opinion. Plus, “insider information” of the political dynamics of our Board of Selectman has been shared that the other 2 selectman in town will vote in the same direction as First Selectman Chapman.
WE NEED THE POWER OF THE PUBLIC TO ACT! Based on guidance from other politicians in Connecticut, we need to execute the following actions:
1)Deploy an online petition garnering as many votes from New Fairfield residents supporting this project. Please access the online petition below to vote your support for this project. Once you access the petition, the right side of the page will contain a section titled “Sign Petition”. Please enter your name (do not select the box titled “Don’t display my name” as we need the specific signatures of taxpayers in town who are signing this petition). Please complete the email and address information, insert a personal comment if you would like, and hit the orange “Sign Now” icon.
2)Attend the Board of Selectman meeting on April 14 at 7:30pm in the New Fairfield Senior Center community room. We understand that everyone has multiple commitments from work or conflicting sports events, but we need a tremendous showing of support in order to proceed with this project. Please send a note to Noah Alviti at
confirming your attendance at this meeting.
3)BE VERY VOCAL in this Board of Selectman meeting to convince the 3 selectman to vote in support.
In summary, we have been working on this project for over a year as we are looking to make a difference and leave a long lasting, positive impact on the community. We are dumbfounded that our First Selectman refuses to recognize the benefit to the community, plus she has taken specific actions to undermine this project. Noah and others have invested a significant amount of time to get to this point and are unable to overcome this obstacle without the strong support of the community.
Please distribute this note to your family, friends, neighbors, etc. If we are successful in convincing the Board of Selectman to approve the partial conversion of an existing grass field to a turf field, our engineer is confident that we will get approval from the Wetlands Commission and the Zoning Commission based on the completed soil reports, land survey, and engineering maps. We can not proceed with the permits to the Wetlands and Zoning Commissions until we have approval from our Board of Selectman.
The notes below are provided for additional information on this project and are one-sided communication with our First Selectman (since she never responded).
Thanks in advance for your support.
Begin forwarded message:
From: "Alviti, Noah" <
> Date: March 6, 2016 at 8:56:13 PM EST To: Cc:
, "Sen. McLachlan, Michael" <
, Michael McCarthy <
>, John Pendergast <
, Eric Alviti <
> Subject:Fwd: Leaving a Legacy: Request for Support for Multi‐Purpose Turf Field Project in New Fairfield
Hello First Selectman Susan Chapman,
I am looking forward to your response to my note below. Some of the recipients of the note below have responded individually to me expressing their support and are also awaiting your feedback.
I learned that Mr. Pendergast and my father had separate discussions with you during the Hometown Hero celebration at the Amber Room on February 27 regarding this multi-purpose field project. I understand that you have explained to both of them that this field project is not a priority for you. While I can envision that your First Selectman position has significant demands on your time, I want to highlight that this project at the core is an effort to benefit the New Fairfield community. I have heard the complaints on the lack of field space in New Fairfield from parents, players, coaches, and administration. Many teams are allocated field time at the youth level until 10pm during the school week due to lack of field space. As I have noted below, other towns are investing in their turf field facilities. Parents of New Fairfield athletes and the various sports organizations fully support this initiative and have demonstrated their support with their personal financial contributions. This multi-purpose field will benefit thousands of individuals now and into the future. I really want you “on-board” for this project as all of the other town officials and government representatives who I have spoken to or received a response have voiced their support for this initiative.
In regards to the plans being developed, the soil scientist has completed marking the nearby wetland areas and the surveyors were at the proposed sites on Friday, March 4. We expect engineering plans completed within the next few weeks.
Thank you in advance for your consideration and input.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Alviti, Noah <
Date: Thu, Feb 25, 2016 at 6:18 AM
Subject: Leaving a Legacy: Request for Support for Multi‐Purpose Turf Field Project in New Fairfield
, John Pendergast <
, Eric Alviti <
First Selectman Susan Chapman,
My name is Noah Alviti and I am a junior at New Fairfield High School. I am leading a project to build a multi‐purpose turf field in New Fairfield. I understand that you have some familiarity with this project, but I would like to highlight the specific details to provide clarity on why this multi‐purpose field is being pursued, the benefits to the town of New Fairfield, and the current status of the project. My goal in writing this letter is to ensure that you have the proper set of facts related to this project and to obtain your support and guidance to navigate through the challenges of adding a new multi‐purpose turf field for the benefit of the extended New Fairfield community.
The reason why I am pursuing this turf field is simply because I want to make a difference with a community project that will benefit current and future generations of sports athletes and residents in New Fairfield. I recognize that we have two beautiful turf fields in New Fairfield which are the result of the hard work, dedication, and financial investment of prior generations. There are so many male and female sports programs at the youth, high school, and adult levels that are competing for space time on these fields. Nearby towns are investing in new turf facilities such as two new turf fields at Cadigan Park in Brookfield and a new turf field at Ridgefield High School. We need to keep pace by investing now.
This project is rallying around a cause: to honor and remember a 2011 graduate of New Fairfield High School, John Pendergast Jr., who tragically passed away almost 3 years ago from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident. You know his parents well since you are honoring John and Amy Pendergast this weekend as the Hometown Heroes which is an outstanding recognition and well deserved as they both give so much to the town. This field will be built in memory of John Pendergast Jr. John Pendergast is one of my advisors on this project.
The objective is to construct a multi‐purpose turf field roughly the size of a hockey rink (approximate dimensions of 200 feet long by 100 feet wide). The field would be available for use by all of the sports programs in town (soccer, field hockey, lacrosse, football, etc) covering all ages (youth, high school, and adult). The field dimension is quite smaller than the current turf fields in town as we do not have the financial capability to raise sufficient funds to afford a full size field.
In working with the New Fairfield Park & Recreation Board, there are two proposed locations for this field to be constructed. The primary location is the open field space located behind Rebel Turf scoreboard and the secondary location is the existing grass field located behind Rebel Turf field.
We have further aspirational objectives to potentially place boxed walls around this field and a roofed structure to enable use of the field year‐round. However, right now, we are concentrating our efforts on constructing the turf field.
Financial Fundraising Status
From a fundraising perspective, we have close to $90,000 of committed funds for this project. The following sports programs in town have financially contributed:
· Youth and high school field hockey (female)
· Youth and high school soccer (male and female)
· Youth and high school lacrosse (male and female) including alumni
· New Fairfield High School Rebel Booster club with support from the New Fairfield Athletic Director
These programs recognize that this field will benefit thousands of current young children and student athletes within their programs as well as future generations.
In addition, generous donations have been made by specific families to support this cause. We project that an additional $30,000 ‐ $40,000 of funding will be needed to install this turf field.
In terms of field maintenance, sports programs in town such as soccer and lacrosse have committed to raising their player fees to build a financial reserve to cover the future cost of replacement.
The project plan has been discussed with the following town officials who have been very supportive of this project and I truly appreciate their guidance and advice:
· Bob Rzasa: Town Director of Building and Grounds (performed in March 2015)
· Tim Simpkins: Director of Health
· Michael McCarthy: Town Sanitarian
· Evan White: Zoning Enforcement Officer
We are proceeding with the creation of the engineering plans for this field at the two proposed locations. A soil scientist has been hired to mark the potential wetland areas which was performed earlier this week. A surveying company (Paul Hiro & Associates) has been hired to construct the survey map and an engineer (Michael Mazzucco) has been contracted as well to complete the required engineering plans. We expect the completion of the required maps & plans within the next few weeks to be presented to the New Fairfield Wetlands Commission.
Your advice and guidance on the next steps that we need to complete would be appreciated.
Requesting Your Support
My father and I dropped off a binder containing the project plan and status at your office at the end of December with the intention of meeting you to explain the purpose of this project in further detail. I fully recognize that your schedule is quite demanding and hopefully this letter is helpful to you to understand the objective and current status. I have presented this project to so many organizations and individual people in town who fully support and are excited at the potential benefit for thousands of New Fairfield residents who play sports or simply want a place to walk. This project plan was presented to State Representative Richard Smith who supports and highlighted a benefit that I had not considered which is this field will provide a place for residents to walk during school hours since the high school track is no longer available due to security reasons.
I fully admit that I did not have an appreciation for all of the challenges that I have faced over the past year in terms of fundraising, various reviews with town officials and Park & Recreation board, and selecting specific companies to perform the services mentioned above. I recognize there are more forthcoming obstacles and even more obstacles that I have not even imagined yet. Your advice, counsel, and support would be greatly appreciated as this field will be an enhancement to the town. If you are available to meet to discuss in greater detail, I would be happy to gain your insight or if you do not have time and would prefer to respond to this email, I would value your input on next steps. The more people I meet on this project, the more partnerships and buy‐in occur. I clearly respect your position and input…and would greatly value your partnership.
Hello New Fairfield Youth and High School Lacrosse Parents,
My name is Noah Alviti and I am a sophomore in NFHS. I am leading a project along with the support of Coach Marty Morgan, Mr. John Pendergast, and Mr. Fred Testor to build the next multi-purpose turf facility in New Fairfield. All of us have spent countless hours this spring on Rebel Turf, Stadium Turf, or one of our multiple grass fields. We are all the recipients of the effort, hard work, dedication, and financial investment from prior generations to create these fields. Now, I believe it's our turn to expand our field space to support the growing field demand by investing in our community to benefit the current and future generations of athletes in New Fairfield.
The design of this project is to create a multi-purpose turf field located in the open field space behind Rebel Turf scoreboard. This field will be approximately the size of a hockey rink, with walls around the facility to keep the balls "in play". From a lacrosse perspective, this would be an ideal setting to play box lacrosse. Some of you may have noticed box lacrosse facilities in other towns such as Wilton which just added their facility earlier this year. The walls surrounding the field will benefit other sports such as soccer, field hockey, etc as this field would be available to all sports. We all recognize the importance of turf fields especially after this difficult winter. Other nearby towns such as Brookfield and Ridgefield have recently invested in new turf fields which are quite impressive. We need to keep pace and enhance our turf field space.
This project is gaining momentum. The New Fairfield Parks & Recreation Board and the Director of Buildings and Grounds support the project design. Presentations to several youth and high school sports boards across lacrosse, soccer, field hockey, and football have already occurred with unanimous support. Some organizations have already committed financial investments while other boards are evaluating the amount of funding to provide. In addition, other organizations such as the Rebel Booster Club and interested donors have been contacted for financial support. We are also rallying around a relatively recent tragic event. As many of you may know the Pendergast family, John Jr. played lacrosse through the youth program and through high school and died in a motorcycle accident. For those of you who knew John Jr., you knew about his passion for lacrosse and desire to educate young youth lacrosse athletes. This field will be built in memory of John Pendergast Jr.
This project is quite extensive. The foundation has been built and I am committed to this project with the help of my board of advisers. I am now reaching out to the extended lacrosse community to support the fundraising campaign. Progress is being made towards our financial goal and your help is needed to make this project successful. No donation is too small and donations are tax deductible via the 501c(3) New Fairfield Youth Lacrosse organization.
Please help us "leave a legacy" for sports in our great town of New Fairfield for years and generations to come!
Make checks payable to: New Fairfield Youth Lacrosse. Checks can be mailed to New Fairfield Youth Lacrosse (Attention Karen Hanley, NF Youth Lacrosse Treasurer), 10 Jewel Lane, New Fairfield, CT 06812.
If anyone is interested in further details, I will happily meet with you and explain the comprehensive project plan. Please contact me at
I hope all of you will support this vision and make it a reality...and months from now, we can all look back and say that "we made a difference" and take pride in giving back to our community by saying "WE DID IT!" Thank you...and go REBELS!