Mayor Seeks Council’s OK to Spend $7,500 on Softball Field Study

Almost a year after City Council asked the mayor to create a dedicated field for the Haverhill High School girls softball team, there appears to be action on the project.

Click image for Haverhill City Council agenda.

Click image for Haverhill City Council agenda.

Mayor James J. Fiorentini will ask the council for $7,510 to pay an engineering firm for drawings and studies of two potential locations for a field. The council meets at 7 p.m., Tuesday, in the Theodore A. Pelosi City Council Chambers on the second floor of Haverhill City Hall.

As previously reported by WHAV, in June 2016 Councilor Colin F. LePage told his colleagues that creating a field for the girls would go a long way to providing equity for the city’s high school athletics program. Reading from a letter written by parents of softball players and members of the team’s booster organization, LePage said the team is put at a disadvantage in the Merrimack Valley Conference. Coaches of other teams don’t want to play in Haverhill because of the conditions, he said.

His colleagues agreed, voting 8-0 to request that Fiorentini “begin the process of creating a new softball field and related facilities.”

Cost estimates at the time were from $610,000 to $700,000 for a field built either at Haverhill High School or at Trinity Stadium.

In February, Haverhill School Committee President Gail Sullivan asked for an update on the plans for the softball field, saying the facilities in Riverside Park made available to the high school girls do not measure up to the diamonds inside Trinity Stadium where the HHS baseball team’s games are scheduled.

The study will be performed by landscape architects and planners Brown, Richardson & Rowe of Boston, and will include design drawings and cost estimates for fields at two locations and attendance at one public meeting about the project.

3 thoughts on “Mayor Seeks Council’s OK to Spend $7,500 on Softball Field Study

  1. You can’t simply use a baseball field for softball; the dimensions are different, softball uses a dirt infield. But beyond that, softball is primarily a girls sport, baseball is primarily a boys sport To provide inadequate facilities for the girls, while the boys have well-groomed fields is flat-out illegal. It is also an embarrassment to the community that a key component of our girls athletic program is treated like some kind of second rate

    The cost to do it seems high, but let us compare that to the cost, at today’s prices, for the work done on boys fields over the years.

    Parents have maintained the fields for youth softball programs and a lot of them are in better shape than some of the fields boys play on and it’s because of volunteer time, effort and money. Then, those girls get to high school and they play on facilities that are awful (I wonder if a coach can get an advantage to using a bad field every day when other schools use good facilities).

    I’ve got no softball players, past or present, in the family but this is so outrageously unfair and shows such an obvious bias that I think we’re lucky nobody has sued under Title IX

  2. Can’t both teams just share the use of the field inside the stadium? I realize occasionally there would be a schedule conflict, in which case they can take turns using an alternate field outside the stadium.

  3. Seriously? Not ONE of the fields in existence at Riverside can be utilized for girls softball? I don’t know who’s more crazy here – the Mayor for entertaining this, or LePage just trying to keep his name in the paper.

    $7.500 for this? My vote would be ABSOLUTELY NOT.