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Short Supply of Playing Fields for Student Sports Is Issue According to Committee to Support Bronxville Student Athletes PDF Print Email

Aug. 14, 2013: According to Molly Hendrick and other members of the Committee to Support Bronxville Student Athletes, space for student athletic programs is in short supply at The Bronxville School due to new sports programs and more team levels.  Permanent, but controlled, lighting is needed on Chambers Field to provide additional, badly needed space to run student sports programs.

By way of background, when faced with increased enrollment, The Bronxville School added a new wing to the building. In response to the desire of more students within that higher enrollment to participate in sports, the athletic department added a wider range of sports and more levels of teams available to include most students who want to play. The only factor that has remained constant through that growth is the availability of field space for the teams to practice and play their games, and that has been shrinking.

With more teams needing time on the field, Hendrick noted that some teams have to double and triple up on the fields for practice. "Unfortunately, Hayes Field in Eastchester and the Scout Field are often unavailable because they're so unpredictable," Hendrick said. "If they get wet, the teams can't use them."

The Committee to Support Bronxville Student Athletes sees permanent lighting on Chambers Field as a means to provide more space, by gaining more time, to create reliable practice and game schedules for the student athletes. Members of the committee have spoken with many village residents and researched lighting situations in other towns. They suggest that guidelines designed to maintain quality of life be included in any plan to install permanent lighting on Chambers Field.

Key guidelines surrounding the lighting issue include:

• Lighted fields are to be used only by Bronxville School teams and not rented to outside groups

• The lights will be turned on only as needed for weekday games and practices as daylight decreases in the fall and will be turned off as daylight increases in the spring

• Lights will be turned off before typical bedtime hours

• Sufficient advance announcement will precede any weekend night games when the lights will be on somewhat later than on weeknights

Hendrick acknowledged that Bronxville residents have expressed concerns about security on the field should its hours of use be extended by permanent lighting. She stated that the committee has called for increased security at night games as well as a security presence to enforce the rules related to who is authorized to use the field at any time, with or without lights. "I'm hearing over and over the impression that, if we get these lights, they're going to be on every night at the request of whoever wants them," Hendrick said. "I don't think that would ever happen. We don't want to see that on the field."

She noted that the Bronxville Board of Education would set policy regarding field use and lighting. If anything, Hendrick noted, a safe and supervised social environment for students at games on a lighted field could foster more school spirit and build community.

Members of the Committee to Support Bronxville Student Athletes include Scott Bacigalupo, Susan Bettino, Steve Crawford, Stefanos Daskalakis, Kim O'TooleBrennan Warble, and Molly Hendrick. They believe a reasonable compromise on permanent lighting can be reached among village residents, students, and the school.

Pictured here: The grandstand on Chambers Field at The Bronxville School.

Photo by N. Bower


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Bronxville Overview

Bronxville Overview

Bronxville is a quaint village (one square mile) located just 16 miles north of midtown Manhattan (roughly 30 minutes on the train) and has a population of approximately 6,500. It is known as a premier community with an excellent public school (K-12) and easy access to Manhattan. Bronxville offers many amenities including an attractive business district, a hospital (Lawrence Hospital), public paddle and tennis courts, fine dining at local restaurants, two private country clubs and a community library.

While the earliest settlers of Bronxville date back to the first half of the 18th century, the history of the modern suburb of Bronxville began in 1890 when William Van Duzer Lawrence purchased a farm and commissioned the architect, William A. Bates, to design a planned community of houses for well-known artists and professionals that became a thriving art colony. This community, now called Lawrence Park, is listed on the National register of Historic Places and many of the homes still have artists’ studios. A neighborhood association within Lawrence Park called “The Hilltop Association” keeps this heritage alive with art shows and other events for neighbors.

Bronxville offers many charming neighborhoods as well as a variety of living options for residents including single family homes, town houses, cooperatives and condominiums. One of the chief benefits of living in “the village” is that your children can attend the Bronxville School.

The Bronxville postal zone (10708, known as “Bronxville PO”) includes the village of Bronxville as well as the Chester Heights section of Eastchester, parts of Tuckahoe and the Lawrence Park West, Cedar Knolls, Armour Villa and Longvale sections of Yonkers. Many of these areas have their own distinct character. For instance, the Armour Villa section has many historic homes and even has its own newsletter called “The Villa Voice” which reports on neighborhood news.

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