EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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August 17, 2011

High school stadium gets facelift

METHUEN — When fans flock to Nicholson Stadium next month for the start of the high school football season, they'll be greeted by a number of improvements.

Most prominent is the fresh coat of bright blue paint applied to the bleachers, and the retouched "Home of the Methuen Rangers" sign visible from Pleasant View Street.

"We've had a lot of people come by and say what a good job we've done," said Bruce Stella, facilities director for the Methuen School Department. "The community is very happy about it. I think it does a lot for school spirit."

A six-member team of school custodians charged with giving the stadium a much-needed facelift didn't stop with the paint job. Beginning in July, they re-sealed the concrete bleacher structure to prevent water leaks in the garage and storage space located below the stands.

Next, workers will repair the warped and cracked wooden plank benches, which Stella called a "maintenance nightmare," before capping them with a new plastic covering.

The color of the new seating? What else but Ranger Blue.

"It matches perfectly," said Stella.

All together, Stella said the city will spend $30,000 to rehab the stadium.

"It needed some work," said Stella. "It looks beautiful. I couldn't be more proud of my crew."

Methuen High's first varsity home game is Sept. 9 versus Plymouth North.

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