Floodlights to be erected as St John’s Field redevelopment continues
Work is continuing on the redevelopment of the St John’s Field with Devarr Boyles, the Western Stars president, revealing this week that 70-foot light poles will be erected in the coming weeks.
The ground, which is home to the Western Stars cricket team and Dandy Town football club, has been closed for almost two years while resurfacing and redevelopment work is carried out in a partnership between next door neighbours Gorham’s and Government who own the field.
A wall bordering Gorham’s on the eastern side of the field has been built, replacing trees, and resurfacing is set to begin.
“Gorham’s have been a very strong partner along with the Government in developing the green top but a lot of the delays are things like securing underground assets, like a sprinkler system, the cabling and conduits that allows us to trench for water and connect the lights,“ Boyles said.
“All of that was not what Gorham’s set out to do and we, the stewards of the field in reflecting what the community of Pembroke West would want as the current tenants of the property, want to show good stewardship by providing those assets for future generations.
“If we have a grass top but don’t have a sprinkler system then it makes it difficult to grow grass and maintain it.”
Boyles was not able to give a completion date but assured work is being done and the field, when completed, will be one the community to be proud of.
“The field was always going to be a two-year project for Gorham’s who weren’t going to have a sprinkler system at all,” Boyles added.
“They were going to try to drop the seeds during the rainy season in order to get the grass growing. With a sprinkler system we’re looking to cut that time in half, but things like trenching, piping and irrigation costs serious money, none of which Western Stars has.
“Part of the delay was in securing some funding to capture the things we feel is a necessity in order to have a green top. There are a lot of things that come into play, so it's not as simple as people think as far as a timeline.”
Light poles are about to be erected soon, though there had to be a compromise.
“We couldn’t afford the metal poles like what you would see at Somerset, the BFA Field and the National Stadium, which was what we wanted,” Boyles added.
“We went ahead and got wooden poles, 70-foot poles which gives us a lot of height.
“We’re thankful we got this far and, hopefully, we can get a bit more support from Bermuda at large, individuals or corporate sponsors.
“It’s not all doom and gloom, certainly and by the end of this month, when you drive past the field, you should see the poles being erected.
“We’re hoping by Christmas we’ll be there or thereabouts.”
Despite all the disruptions, which has seen Dandy Town train at Berkeley Field and play their home matches at Goose Gosling Field, the Hornets have been the pacesetters in the Premier Division title race this season.
Town will be looking to reach anther cup semi-final when they meet Somerset Trojans in an FA Cup quarter-final tie at Goose Gosling Field tomorrow (2pm). They are in contention for the Triple Crown which includes the league, FA and Friendship Trophy.
The three other matches tomorrow will see Somerset Eagles taking on Devonshire Cougars at White Hill Field (2pm) and North Village playing at home at Bernard Park against Boulevard (5pm), the only First Division side still in the competition.
The remaining match will see Robin Hood taking on PHC in the second match of the double header at BAA Field (5pm).
• The First Division match between Wolves and Paget at Wellington Oval, today, will not be played as Paget are unable to field a team, the BFA confirmed.