Town officials dig in to Memorial Stadium project
School committee members and other town officials broke ground at Memorial Stadium on Tuesday afternoon, ceremonially kicking off the $1.7 million renovation project.
The first phase of the project will refurbish the field and its drainage as well as the stadium’s lighting and electrical systems.
“Today’s a very exciting day,” said Christopher Oliver, Vice Chair of the Dartmouth School Committee and member of the Turf Field Committee, adding that he never expected the project to take place during his tenure. “However, we are here today to break ground for the Dartmouth Memorial Stadium.”
Select board member David Tatelbaum — who said that he had played on the same field about fifty years ago — commented that it was “a rather monumental and emotional event today.”
“None of this would have happened without everyone pitching in,” he said.
Stanley Mickelson, also a Select Board member, noted that Dartmouth has four major projects going on at the moment — including the new police headquarters, the new library, and the new maritime center.
“It’s a grand, great time for the Town of Dartmouth,” he said. “I think we can toot our horn, and be very very proud of what we’ve accomplished.”
Oliver finished by noting that the renovations were “desperately needed” before thanking the voters of the town who approved the project at the Town Meeting.
“We look forward to seeing this project completed in August,” he said.
Superintendent of Schools Bonny Gifford commented after the ceremony, “We are so proud of so many things, so many accomplishments, that this to me is just some icing on the cake.”
According to School Business Administrator Jim Kiely, Phase Two of the project — which has yet to be funded — will modernize the stands and the bathrooms to make them fully accessible.
They also plan to move and renovate the current concessions area.
“It’s much needed,” he said, adding that the stadium was dedicated in 1949 and hasn’t undergone any significant repairs since.
Phase Two of the stadium renovations will likely be brought before voters at October’s Town Meeting.