EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


August 4, 2013

Haverhill seeks $400K for Trinity stadium repairs

Would pay for repairs to stands, new lights

HAVERHILL — The city is seeking $400,000 from the state for repairs to Trinity Stadium, including the crumbling concrete stands.

Mayor James Fiorentini said the money would also pay for new lights to replace the stadium’s old ones, which are fading and making nighttime sporting events difficult.

The mayor said the city has applied for the money from the Parkland Acquisitions and Renovations for Communities program — PARC for short.

The City Council and the city’s Stadium Commission have been pushing Fiorentini for months to apply for the grant for the stadium. But the mayor had said he did not believe repairing an existing structure, such as a stadium, would fall under guidelines for the grant.

Those guidelines indicated the state was looking to provide money for acquiring parkland in the grant’s next round of awards.

Fiorentini also said the PARC grant’s $400,000 cap was a deterrent to targeting it for the stadium, since the facility needs almost $5 million in work.

But the mayor said he was convinced by Haverhill High School Athletic Director Tom O’Brien and state Rep. Brian Demspsey, D-Haverhill, to craft a PARC application for the stadium anyway.

“Tom persuaded me to go for whatever we can get and try to get the repairs done in phases,” the mayor said of O’Brien, adding that money from the grant, if successful, will be used to install new lights and repair one section of the dilapidated concrete grandstand.

Dempsey suggested applying for stadium money would show the state that repairing the complex, formerly called Haverhill Stadium, is a top priority for the city, the mayor said.

“It could increase the city’s chances of receiving some other state funding in the future, if we don’t get this one,” Fiorentini said.

Since 2006, the state has provided about $3 million for stadium work, most of it to repair two of the five grandstand sections, fix structural problems and replace the grass field with artificial turf.

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