Sag Harbor School District Signs One-Year Deal With Mashashimuet Park - 27 East

Sag Harbor Express

Sag Harbor School District Signs One-Year Deal With Mashashimuet Park

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Mashashimuet Park in Sag Harbor.

Mashashimuet Park in Sag Harbor.

authorCailin Riley on Jun 7, 2023

The Sag Harbor Board of Education approved a one-year agreement with the Park and Recreation Association of Sag Harbor — which runs Mashashimuet Park — to keep the park as the primary home of Pierson athletics for another year, signing a one-year deal, effective July 1, that will run through June 30, 2024, for $226,777.36.

The district signed only a one-year agreement because, nearly a year ago, it began negotiations with the park on a capital improvement plan that would provide much needed upgrades at the park. A proposed $13.5 million upgrade project was set to be presented to district voters last September, but it was put on hold when the district decided to pursue purchasing 4.13 acres of land on nearby Marsden Street, that could have potentially been developed into an additional athletic field, which has been identified as a district facility need.

The vote to acquire that property failed in May, but the capital improvement plan at the park is not yet back on the table, because Southampton Town officials are currently investigating the feasibility of buying development rights at the park with money from the Community Preservation Fund. If a deal related to that goes through, it could potentially cover or partially cover the cost of upgrades at the park, which would save the district from having to foot that bill. The district has previously said it would not sign a long-term deal with the park until an agreement is in place to make necessary upgrades and improvements to the athletic facilities there.

The signing of the deal had been delayed by a few weeks as the district and park board worked out what Superintendent Jeff Nichols described at Monday night’s board meeting as a facility need that had not been sufficiently addressed in the original contract.

“They readily agreed to a change in the contract language that addressed that shortcoming,” Nichols said. “And we feel that the 2023-24 contract is good.”

According to Pierson Athletic Director Brian Tardif, the park agreed to make some minor modifications to the softball field at the back corner of the park — known as Field 4 — that will allow it to be playable for both baseball and softball teams. Sometime in the fall, work will be done to remove roughly 20 feet of grass where the infield meets the outfield to accommodate the additional space needed for the longer baseball basepaths, which would then allow the field to be used for both sports.

Tardif explained why that was a necessary upgrade.

“Right now, we only have one true baseball field,” he said. “The varsity baseball team was playing in the county championship two weeks ago and they had their final game of the series on a Friday, so the day before was an important practice day, but the middle school baseball team was scheduled to play at home, so we had to send the varsity to Southampton to practice, since we didn’t have another field for them to practice on.

“This would be a great opportunity to give us another baseball field and also not eliminate a softball field,” he added. Middle School baseball games could also potentially be played on that field as well.

Facility Needs Report 
Set for Next Meeting

At the next board meeting, set for June 26, school business administrator Jennifer Buscemi will give a presentation that will be a summary of what the educational and facilities planning committee has worked on all year. That committee will make advisory recommendations to the board as it pertains to addressing facility needs, and prioritizing those needs.

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