In 2016 the City purchased 50 acres of land from the Foundation for Seacoast Health. The property runs between Campus Drive, off of West Road, and the Department of Public Works property located at 680 Peverly Hill Road. This land will be used to fulfill several objectives of planning initiatives outlined in the City’s 2010 Comprehensive Recreational Needs Study, and the update of this study in 2016. Those objectives include the installation of multiple multi-use playing fields and associated amenities. The project is currently in design with the first phase of the project having received planning board approval on October 17, 2019. The first phase design includes two 360’ X 225’ multi-purpose synthetic turf playing fields, lighting, parking, landscaping, and associated drainage and utilities.
The City Council in May 2018 voted to authorize City Manager John Bohenko to move forward with the plan to create the multi-field recreation facility. In July 2018, The City Council voted unanimously to bond out as much as $3.4 million for the project and add those monies to about $1.6 million that the council had previously set aside for a single-use synthetic field off Route 33 at the site of the former stump dump. The council previously decided to move forward first with the multi-field complex and drop any immediate plans to build a new field off Route 33.
The project has already passed review by NH DES Wetlands Bureau, the Portsmouth Conservation Commission, a Work Session with the Technical Advisory Committee and was approved at the October 17 Planning Board meeting. The project is scheduled to go out to bid in early 2020, with the requirement of PFAS-free artificial turf.
In addition to the playing fields, the first phase of the project will include the construction of an innovative regional storm water treatment system, consisting of two types of wetland treatment systems, to treat the storm water runoff originating from the West Road industrial area. This project is being designed to improve the water quality that runs into the Sagamore Creek and will include pre and post construction testing to determine the effectiveness of these treatment systems and will also include interpretive educational information for the public.
This site will also include accommodations for a snow storage area that will be used by Department of Public Works during winter snow operations.
Future phases of improvements on the site include a third multi-use playing field and associated amenities, as well as a new transfer station for improved efficiencies in the City’s handling of solid waste and recycling operations.
For more detail on each phase of the plans, click here for Phase I, click here for Phase II and click here for the proposed multi-use bike path and conceptual transfer station layout.