MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. - Progress is slow, but steady at Memorial Field in Mount Vernon, as city officials continue their attempts to return the once vibrant field into a viable recreation hub in Westchester County.
This week, the Mount Vernon Department of Public Works began grading the grass at Memorial Field in preparation for a track to be laid down in the coming weeks, “just in time for the holidays,” according to Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas.
Mount Vernon Department of Public Works Commissioner Joseph Nigro said that once the field is graded - which helps move excess water from an athletic field - they will begin putting the track down.
“This is one of the biggest projects in Westchester, and Mount Vernon especially,” he said. “It has to get done, this is something that is 10 years in the making and the making is now.”
Once preliminary work on the track is concluded, Nigro said that they will begin working on the entranceway, fixing the fencing at the field and beginning the process of tearing down the grandstands, though he does have possible plans for repurposing the rafters above the stands.
“The stands have to come down, and there’s a good reason why. There are foundation cracks all the way through, and it would cost the city way too much money,” Nigro added. “I have a plan for the rafters, I’d like to cut them down and utilize them on the field for the historical value.”
Damani Bush, a special assistant to Nigro who used to play Razorback football at Memorial Field, said that it’s important for the city to expedite efforts to revitalize the once vibrant park.
“We’re trying to bring the field back to the residents, it’s been almost 10 years,” he said. “People who want to work out have to go to Pelham or neighboring communities, and it’s a shame. Why go to these communities when we have something right here in our hometown?
“Lets just get it done at this point. I remember playing football here. Every Saturday, every kid knew where they were going, Memorial Field. We need to bring that back. Kids need to have memories and dreams. You learn a lot down here and it’s important to bring that back to the community.”
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.