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Lavallette Readying Designs for First Upgrades at Chandler Field

Chandler Field, Lavallette, N.J. (Photo: Shorebeat)

Chandler Field, Lavallette, N.J. (Photo: Shorebeat)

Lavallette officials this week began preparing for a project that will improve Chandler Field, best known as the borough’s baseball field located off Baltimore Avenue.

The borough council unanimously awarded a $19,500 contract to Van Cleef Engineering to design and manage the major renovation phase of the project. The current phase, which includes surveying, is underway now. A long-standing plan has called for the borough to partner with the Lavallette school district to complete the project, and Borough Administrator John O. Bennett this week said the district was awaiting approval of a grant before it authorized expenditures.

The project Van Cleef will design includes removing and replacing the infield dirt and clay mix to prevent any ponding of water after rain events, installing covers over new dugouts and constructing fenced-in areas where hitters can practice their swings. Officials had also weighed the construction of a dog run at the park, though this was not included in the resolution awarding the contract to Van Cleef. Another portion of the project will see the outfield re-seeded.

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Dogs are allowed in the park if they are registered with the “Goose Patrol,” a group of residents who take their dogs for a walk in areas where canines are normally not allowed. The program allowing limited access has been successful in deterring the presence of Canada geese as a result of the scent left behind by the dogs. Occasionally, however, visitors to town have taken the presence of dogs to mean all are allowed despite signage indicating the contrary. Several residents, at a previous council meeting, opposed a formal dog run at the park since they do not believe that is why the program was established.

Chandler Field, Lavallette, N.J. (Photo: Shorebeat)

Chandler Field, Lavallette, N.J. (Photo: Shorebeat)

Signs alerting visitors to 'Goose Patrol' regulations at Chandler Field, Lavallette, August 2022. (Photo: Daniel Nee)

Signs alerting visitors to ‘Goose Patrol’ regulations at Chandler Field, Lavallette, August 2022. (Photo: Daniel Nee)

After Van Cleef designs the project, it will be placed out to bid by the borough council for construction. Officials are hoping the work can be completed before the summer season.

Bennett said the total cost of the project, before grant funding, is estimated to be about $327,000. Both the municipal government and school district have received – or are in line to receive – funding that will pare down the final cost to taxpayers.

Chandler Field is a well-used facility in town. In addition to pickup games and a number of youth leagues that use the diamond, it is also used by a summer college league in which some top prospects with dreams of playing Major League Baseball come to hone their skills each season.

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