PARIS – A long-awaited groundbreaking ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. Sept. 4 to mark the start of construction of a new ball field next to the Maine Veterans Home on High Street.

P & K Sand & Gravel will turn the land, which was donated by Rawn Phinney, into a softball and soccer field with access from Spring Lane. Maine Veterans Home will own and maintain the field, and South Paris Recreation will manage the schedule of games and use of the field, said nursing home administrator Pat Young.

“We’ll have a paved walkway to the field from the nursing home, so our residents can come watch the games,” she said. A fence will separate the field from a handicapped area to prevent injuries.

The Maine Veterans Home was built over a ball field in 1995, and the board in charge of the project at the time pledged to replace the field with another field at some point in the future, Young said.

“For a while it was put on the back burner. Cost was an issue,” Young said.

The nursing home decided to go forward with the project this year, and received Department of Environmental Protection approval earlier this summer to build over an aquifer.

The groundbreaking will be preceded by a 9:30 a.m. reception inside the nursing home. On hand for the event will be the home’s plant engineer, Ron Herbert; Chairman, Western Maine Veterans Advisory Committee Joe Cooney; Rawn Phinney; Paris Town Manager Steve McAllister; Maine Veterans Home Board of Trustees member Robert Sessions; past board member and veteran Myron Pierce; Board of Trustees liaison John Kezal, and Young.

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