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Center Moriches gets its first multiuse athletic field

The first multipurpose athletic field in Center Moriches has opened.

Brookhaven Town officials said the $1 million park officially opened on Sunday, in time to kick off the Moriches Seahawks Little League football club.

Town officials purchased the 6-acre former Knights of Columbus property earlier this year to establish the field.

A building on the property is to be converted into a community center, set for completion in May or June, said Ed Morris, Brookhaven parks commissioner.

“Council District 6 was the only district [in Brookhaven] without a multipurpose field,” Morris said. “This is great for the district and community, and a better way to accommodate football, soccer and lacrosse.”

The hamlet has about 7,500 residents, according to 2010 U.S. Census data.

The park is being called the Moriches Bay Recreation Center until Brookhaven comes up with an official name for the recreation space, officials said.

The synthetic turf field will be used by various youth athletic organizations, officials said.

“I was extremely pleased to have spearheaded the effort to acquire the Knights of Columbus facility to bring the Moriches Bay area its first ever recreation center,” Brookhaven Councilman Dan Panico said in a statement. Panico represents the district.

“The center, coupled with the multipurpose athletic field, is a valuable amenity for our community,” he said.

The park is on Frowein Road, next to Center Moriches High School. It uses energy-efficient bulbs to help reduce light pollution, town officials said.

“Every community needs a place for children to engage in sports and recreation activities, and this new field really fits the bill,” Brookhaven Town Supervisor Edward P. Romaine said in a statement.

In May, Brookhaven officials opened a $1.5 million park in Selden. That facility, called Veterans Park, includes turf baseball fields and multipurpose soccer, football and lacrosse fields.

The Selden park, at Boyle Road and Hemlock Street, is the first of three phases totaling roughly $8 million for more ballfields in the area, town officials said.

In the past few years, Brookhaven has spent roughly $5 million on upgrades, renovations and construction of park facilities.

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