Memorial Stadium project could receive $50,000 for an architect

Sep 26, 2017

School officials hope to receive $50,000 from the town capital improvement budget to develop a comprehensive plan for renovating Memorial Stadium, pending a vote at Town Meeting in October.

According to School Business Administrator James Kiely, the Capital Improvement Planning Committee has already recommended that voters approve the $50,000 allotment to hire an architect at the Fall Town Meeting.

The money will go to the Turf Field Committee, which was formed after the project to renovate Memorial Stadium was put on hold several times, despite being listed as a priority for the past two years. Most recently, the School Committee’s request for $1.4 million in capital improvement monies for the project did not make it to the Spring Town Meeting agenda.

With the funding, Kiely hopes to have a request for proposals for an architectural firm out by November. He said the architectural firm will take a look at the current state of the stadium and come up with several renovation options, drawings, and cost estimates.

In previous meetings with the Turf Field Committee, Kiely described the current state of Memorial Stadium as an "embarrassment," listing off problem areas including inadequate lighting, accessibility issues with the grandstands, and poor field conditions which leads to limited use of the facility.

The Turf Field Committee had hoped to continue the project with a combination of public and private funding, but Kiely said after researching similar projects that incorporated private fundraising or donations, it was discovered that it made up a small amount of those projects’ overall budgets. The only exception, he said, was one or two communities that received large, multi-million dollar donations from a single party.