Fiorentini, who eventually decided to apply for the stadium grant, said restoring the structure has always been among his top priorities.
“Haverhill Stadium, constructed during the Depression, is one of Haverhill’s great gems,” the mayor said after learning the city is to receive the $400,000 from the state to rehabilitate the structure. “These funds will be used to restore it to its original glory.”
Since 2006, the state has provided about $3.4 million for repairs and improvements to the stadium, most of it to repair two of the five grandstand sections, fix structural problems and replace the grass field with artificial turf.
But at least another $2 million is needed to repair crumbling sections of the stadium grandstand and install new lights, officials said.
A press release from Haverhill’s legislative delegation said the $400,000 is to be used for new lights and grandstand repairs.
“New lighting will improve the overall safety and usage of the fields, extending the hours in which the fields can be used,” the release said. “Another portion of the funding will be used to repair and update the crumbling portions of the grandstand, including the addition of a row of (handicapped accessible) seating.”
“I am thankful that Secretary Sullivan recognized the importance that these improvements to the stadium will have for the entire region,” said state Rep. Brian Dempsey, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.
Sen. Kathleen O’Connor Ives, D-Newburyport, said the improvements will result in “a modernized sports venue to serve as a hub for community and athletic events and add to the city’s amenities that make Haverhill a draw to visitors near and far.” O’Connor Ives is Senate chairman of the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development.
State reps. Diana Dizoglio, Linda Dean Campbell and Lenny Mirra also supported the grant, the release said.