Derby Breaks Ground for J.R. Payden Field House & Payden Park


The City of Derby broke ground on March 19, 2018 for the J.R. Payden Field House and Payden Park at the Leo F. Ryan Sports Complex on Chatfield Street. The field house and park are part of the major upgrade to the complex that includes the installation of a new artificial turf football field and all weather track in addition to the baseball field and field house that have been made possible through the generosity of Joan A. Payden in memory of her father J. R. (Joseph Raymond) Payden. Superintendent of Schools Matt Conway was the master of ceremonies for the program which included a live feed and comments from Ms. Payden in California.

The City received funding from the State of Connecticut to begin the makeover of the complex. However, the funding was not enough to complete the project as envisioned. Ms. Payden had previously provided a scholarship at Derby High School and was looking for an additional project when she contacted Derby High Principal Martin Pascale who then referred her to Superintendent of Schools Matt Conway who had obtained the state grant for the City. The two quickly bonded around the city's desire to move the baseball field and to construct a new field house to replace the deteriorating one built in the mid-50's. Click here for earlier press release.

The field house will be unique in serving both the sports and civic needs of the city. The upper floor includes the Great room where banquets, assemblies and other activities may be held. On the same floor will be the J. R. Payden archives and sports memorabilia.

The building will also include locker rooms, coaches' offices, workout rooms and other sports related spaces including storage. Rest rooms and concessions areas are also included.

The project is designed by Peter de Bretteville, managed by Jones Lang Laselle and will be built by Turner Construction Company. Kaestle Boos Associates, Inc. is preparing the schedule for the Athletic Facility Renovations Project and Multi-sport Field, Track and Softball Field. You can see their projected schedule for that here and more information here.

The baseball field is being moved from its present location to the area that has served as a softball field for years. Softball will be moved to a new facility adjacent to the existing Little League field. The existing field house will soon be demolished and construction of the new football field and track will begin. The field house will sit on ground between the two fields, and will actually have viewing areas for spectators overlooking the fields. (Click on images for larger representations)

The building will have two levels and you can see the layout more easily by clicking on this image to see a larger representation:

Story posted on March 19, 2018

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