The hiring of a firm by Berkshire Community College to facilitate the installation of a multi-sport turf field where its current soccer fields are located is a critical step toward the day when Pittsfield and Berkshire County finally have a field worthy of their teams. Like any other project, its success is contingent upon raising the funds necessary to make it happen.

A variety of donors have raised $80,000 to begin the design, engineering and permit work that EDM Services will supervise (Eagle, Feb. 5). Mike McDonald, coordinator of an unofficial group pushing for the projects, estimates it will cost about $2.3 million. A grant is being sought and it’s hoped that the city of Pittsfield, BCC, and the Bianchi/Barbarotta Foundation, among others, will contribute to the cause.

The cause is a good one. Pittsfield’s playing fields are adequate at best and there is too much reliance on the swamp that is Wahconah Park. Participants in youth leagues through high school and community college deserve better, and a multi-use field available most of the year would not only better serve athletes it would encourage more kids to play sports.

A reliable turf field would also enable Berkshire County to host some of the regional sports events that the Springfield area dominates. This is a project that, if realized, will pay dividends to the city and county for decades to come.