GLEN RIDGE, NJ — The field house at Hurrell Field is undergoing a transformation, thanks, in part, to the effort of the Glen Ridge Booster Club.
It is hoped that all changes will be accomplished in a short time frame, just 18 months, according to Tania Liddy and Ellen Auborn, two “football parents” who are providing much of the impetus. And the changes will be considerable. So much so that they have been planned to take place over seven phases with Phase I, just completed, taking three weeks.
This phase was done to the locker room for the home football team. Well-worn metal lockers have been replaced with open, wooden cubicles with drying racks for helmets and shoulder pads above each one. According to Liddy and Auborn, the locker room will be used by various sports over the school year.
Phase II will be concerned with the infrastructure of the 1950 facility. Next door to the football locker room is the girls’ locker room. This is to be refurbished in Phase III as will a training room. Phase IV will see improvements to the public bathroom facilities; Phase V will take on exterior work; and in Phase VI, the basement and visitor’s locker room will be upgraded.
The final phase will have the second floor coaches and meeting rooms redone.
According to Liddy, Phase I has cost around $15,000. It included not only the new cubicles but the floor has been painted, the tops of the benches, which have an immovable concrete base, have been replaced, and the entrance has been painted. Liddy said this money was surplus from Project Graduation 2017 fundraising.
But part of the financial plan is to solicit donations of products and services from businesses. The borough will also be involved with the upgrade as will the Glen Ridge Board of Education. The BOE is not expected to contribute funding, according to Liddy and Auborn, but since the facility is on school district property, it is expected the board would have input.
However, the borough was to be a financial partner, both women said.
Borough Administrator Michael Rohal said Glen Ridge was in the process of selecting a design consultant who will prepare the cost estimate.
“The Borough is planning to provide infrastructure and exterior improvements,” he said in an email.
“We will have a better idea of the final cost after meeting with the borough, Liddy said. “We wanted to have Phase I done by the beginning of football season. I gives us a jumping off point.”
Auborn said the improved facility will also give other organization an idea of the potential of the space.
“It’s a very visible facility in the borough,” she said. “We thought it didn’t represent the borough well. We want to have it used as a multipurpose facility.”