Councilor Mary Ellen Daly-O’Brien
City Council approved spending $7,510 to hire a landscape designer to study three city locations for a softball field to be used by the HHS girls team.
The company, Brown, Richardson & Rowe of Boston, is the same firm that created the new playground at Swasey’s Field, Mayor James J. Fiorentini said.
The company will look at three locations: Trinity Stadium, Riverside Park and the athletic fields behind Haverhill High School.
Councilor Mary Ellen Daly-O’Brien said she would prefer the field be built in Trinity Stadium, which is where the HHS baseball team’s diamond is located. She said the choice would send a message of equity.
“I’m from the time before Title 9,” Daly-O’Brien said. “I know what I didn’t get.”
Fiorentini agreed that the stadium would be the preferred choice, but said he will wait until the study of all three locations is finished.
“The stadium should have been designed with one field for baseball and one for softball,” Fiorentini said. “This is our obligation, legal and moral.”
Councilor Colin F. LePage celebrated the start of the process.
“We’ve been talking about this for quite some time. I’m hoping we can expedite the process. The girls and the boosters have been very patient,” LePage said.
The mayor reminded councilors that this is just the first step in what could be a long and expensive process. Construction of the field could exceed $700,000.