$400K to study plan of action for Dartmouth Memorial Stadium
14 June 2018
Anyone who has visited the Dartmouth Memorial Stadium knows “it is deteriorating” to the point where it’s becoming “a poor reflection on the town.”
A multi-year plan of repairs has to be developed and implemented soon, said James Kiely, assistant superintendent of finance and operations.
To get that plan rolling, Town Meeting members recently approved $400,000 for a feasibility study to develop estimates for needed repairs. Preliminary estimates suggest at least $1.4 million would be needed to fund necessary repairs and facilities upgrades, Kiely said at the June 4 meeting.
Kiely told Town Meeting members that the capital funding should be considered a “down payment” on a long-planned, multi-million dollar effort to rehabilitate the aging sports stadium beside Town Hall.
The study will provide recommendations for a multi-phase improvement project, including a new playing field, possibly featuring artificial turf; lighting; seating upgrades; and rehabbing the restrooms and concession stands.
“It’s not in good shape,” said Shannon Jenkins, School Committee member, told the assembly. Repairs and upgrades “are desperately needed,” she added.
A town-wide committee researched potential sites for a new stadium, including the Dartmouth Youth Soccer Association complex next to Dartmouth High School, open land behind the high school, and another parcel behind Quinn Elementary School.
None of those locations proved suitable, leading to the formation of a town “turf committee” to look at the possibility of upgrading the heavily used Slocum Road stadium athletic field to synthetic turf, Jenkins said.
“We’ve been working on this for a long time,” Jenkins said.
Before the vote, Kiely addressed rumors that some of the $400,000 being requested would finance the installation of new lights. “It would cost more than $400,000 just for the lights,” he said.