Concession stand, restrooms added to Beneski Field
By Gregory A. Scibelli - Staff Writer
Suffield - posted Thu., Aug. 25, 2011
This fall, soccer and field hockey fans will enjoy more conveniences at Ted Beneski Field. A donation of private funds from the Suffield Rotary Club and many local donors resulted in the creation of a concession stand and bathrooms located at the northwest end of the field, adjacent to the track.
Rotary Assistant Treasurer Jack Muska said that four years ago, the club had been looking for a big project with the schools to get behind since taking the Glenn T. Packard Memorial Golf Tournament on as its major fundraiser.
“We wanted to do something to help the schools, and the idea of a concession and bathrooms came up,” said Muska. “We kicked the idea around for a while and decided that we had this beautiful field donated by Ted Beneski, and we only have portable bathrooms for people who come there for games.”
The building adds on to the existing storage shed used to store equipment for sports teams, including track, soccer, lacrosse and field hockey. It will have a concession stand and an area to stand in line covered by a canopy. Bathrooms will be located at the rear of the building.
The entire cost of the project is around $260,000. Thanks to Rotary fundraisers during the past four years, a little more than 50 percent of the cost came from the club. The rest of the money was donated by private citizens and groups. No public funds were used to finance the project.
“Every one of the athletic teams or associations also pitched in to help with the project,” said Muska. “It is great that these teams have pride in their school. This new building will really add some class to the facility and give our boosters a place to sell their products and people a clean place to use the restroom.”
Construction for the new concession stand and bathroom building began in May, and concrete was being poured during the week of Aug. 22 to put the final touches on the entrance to the bathrooms. Rick Burke of Burke Construction in Suffield said the building may be ready for the start of the fall sports season, or soon after.
“We’re going to come really close,” said Burke. “We’re doing our best to get it ready, though the weather has not helped.”
Rotarian Elaine O’Brien said the Rotary Club has continued to be very committed to making donations and supporting projects that benefit the town and the school system. The club recently took over the Packard golf tournament to continue to raise money toward projects, which have included score boards, and, more recently, dugouts at the varsity baseball and softball diamonds.