Haverhill High Girls May Receive Softball Field to Call Their Own

Haverhill High School girls may soon receive a softball field of their own.

Haverhill City Councilors voted 8-0 Tuesday night to ask Mayor James J. Fiorentini to begin the process of creating a new softball field and related facilities at either Haverhill Stadium or Haverhill High School. Councilor Colin F. LePage said the new girls’ softball field will also help the city meet equal educational opportunities required by U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.

“There’s not a lot of thinking about girls. Need a loan order for a new softball field to make it equal for girls and boys,” LePage said. Estimates for the new field range from $610,000 if built at Haverhill High School to $750,000 if built at Haverhill Trinity Stadium, according to information provided by LePage.

Behind the scenes, a group of parents and guardians of the Haverhill High School Softball Program complained current conditions represent “glaring equity issues.” These include girls’ home field rights being secondary to male adult and youth leagues, inadequate fencing and poor equipment.

“The baseball team uses the top of the line turf, full bullpen and batting cages, complete and clean dugouts, accessible locker rooms, storage space, permanent fencing and necessary equipment. The softball field has none of these, resulting in several Merrimack Valley Conference coaches complaining they do not want to play us on our field,” according to a letter sent to elected officials by Tim Michitson, parent of a varsity player and president of the softball boosters.

Council Vice President Melinda E. Barrett made the motion to ask Mayor James J. Fiorentini to bring a loan order to the council. She was backed by Councilor Mary Ellen Daly O’Brien. Councilor William J. Macek abstained from voting.

Federal law, Title IX, requires that “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

2 thoughts on “Haverhill High Girls May Receive Softball Field to Call Their Own

  1. “A loan order” ? Melinda, why would the city borrow money for a project when the city has already collected these funds…..TWICE?

    The City of Haverhill collects funds annually through the budget process to financially provide for the many sports leagues in the city, as well as high school sports. The mayor then turns around and charges each of the many leagues, and high school athletes, a ‘user fee’ to use facilities throughout the city. These leagues, and high school athletes, are being charged a fee TWICE for the same purpose!!! This double dipping taxation has been going on forever under this scheming, conniving mayor. Why should parents have to pay through their taxes to fund the DPW, Recreation Department and high school sports and then have to pay an additional user fee???

    Maybe this will be the issue that brings this scam by the mayor to and end. Where are the various high school parent booster groups???? Parents who are serious about this issue need to ask for a full accounting of where the funds go the mayor collects through the many youth sports leagues in the city.

    Anyone want to bet the money the mayor collects through city youth sports leagues goes right into a secret discretionary spending fund that has nothing to do with sports??

    • Interesting. I do know that the Stadium is solely controlled by the Stadium Commission. City Youth leagues actually have to PAY A FEE to use the Stadium field that goes to the Stadium commission coffers not into the city fund. So now the city must build a brand new field for softball. Who will be on the hook for that and WHO will control it ?? Why not use the $600k that LePage found and get it over with ?