Methuen’s Nicholson Stadium Will Receive Upgrades After All

Methuen’s Nicholson Stadium will be receiving a $5 million overhaul after two Methuen city councilors reversed their positions last night.

Council Chairman Ronald Marsan and Councilor Jamie Atkinson provided the additional votes necessary to move the project forward.

WHAV Environmental Consultant Gerald W. McCall reported the details last night during WHAV’s Open Mike Show.

“The bottom line is that the project is going to cost $5 million—probably $5 million; they’re going to go forward with the bond issue; and then a seven-point plan is supposed to incorporate value engineering, which is already a requirement under the school building fund; they’re going to look around and try to sell land; they’re going to try to fundraise and they received a pledge of $15,000 from the athletic group,” he reported.

A committee will oversee the project, including designees of Mayor Stephen N. Zanni, school Superintendent Judith A. Scannell and Community Development Director William J. Buckley; two members of the Methuen City Council; two members of the Methuen School Committee; and two members of the Methuen Athletic Improvement Association (MAIA). McCall said no opposition taxpayers would be represented on the committee.

The athletic association has complained of deteriorating visitor bleachers, the availability of only a male-only clubhouse and insufficient bathrooms. Among the fixes the group proposed are a new clubhouse, placing artificial turf on fields, new handicap-accessible visitor bleachers and new fencing.

Last week, councilors voted five to four in favor of floating a bond to pay for upgrades, but a two-thirds majority is required for spending bills.