Bocce may soon be the hottest thing for patrons of the New Milford Senior Center and other residents.
"Bocce ball is hot these days," said Carolyn Haglund, director of New Milford's senior services. "They're resurfacing all the bocce ball courts in Manhattan at this time."
Manhattan's got company.
"The seniors wanted it and I like the idea of it because it's an Italian game," Thomas, 15, said. "It's available to any of New Milford's residents. You don't have to be a senior to use it."
Thomas' Eagle project inspired plenty of support.
Ring's End donated wood in memory of Kevin Kehoe, a Troop 31 Scoutmaster who died in February.
H.H. Taylor & Son also donated wood, as well as paint and brushes for refurbishing the two benches, one in front of the building and another on the east side of the edifice.
Circle Asphalt and Stone Construction donated gravel and stone dust.
Clay for the court surface came from New Milford Parks & Recreation, as did grass seed to reseed the lawn.
Eagle Scouts from every troop in New Milford have pitched in, too.
"Everybody's been very supportive of this project," said Thomas' dad, Joe Vita. "This project is part of the revitalization of Main Street."
Careful consideration was given as to where to install the court, Ms. Haglund said.
"We did a lot of measuring all over the property. For safety and to meet the requirement of legal court size, it had to go where it went," she added.
Ms. Haglund said talks have been ongoing for some time about having a court for some sport outside of the Senior Center.
An outdoor activity to provide exercise and interactive socialization at the center has been a goal of Ms. Haglund and Parks & Recreation Assistant Director Eleanor Covelli.
"This is absolutely wonderful," Mrs. Covelli said. "When completed, the court will have a very low silhouette from the street."
"The plan is to plant hostas around the perimeter," she added. "That will shield the court with a natural planting look and make a visual buffer so no one trips over the rim of the court."
Top soil disturbed during creation of the 60- by 9-foot long court was saved and reused. It was used for back fill for the court and spread, raked and seeded for a new grass lawn.
Bocce ball originated in Italy. The goal of the game is to toss a ball closest to a smaller ball -- called a pallino -- that serves as a target.
Players are permitter to throw the ball in the air using an under arm action. It can be played by two players or two teams of two, three or four players.