Firm to Study 3 Sites for HHS Girls Softball Field

Haverhill City Concilor Mary Ellen Daly O’Brien. (WHAV News file photograph.)

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.

One thought on “Firm to Study 3 Sites for HHS Girls Softball Field

  1. I cannot imagine how a softball field could possibly cost $700,000 to build, even if is to include artificial turf, a possibility that isn’t mentioned in the article. According to the Eagle Tribune of Nov 2, 2016, it cost Lawrence $388,000 to replace the turf at Lawrence Stadium due to the vandalism, and a football field requires more square footage than a softball field. If an existing field at Riverside Park is used, then there should be no extensive site prep costs involved. My suggestion is that the existing field to the east side of the stadium between it and the Plaza be upgraded. It already has lights. I do not feel there is any ‘legal or moral obligation’ that girls softball should be played within the brick walls of the stadium. If there is enough room to accommodate a softball field in the northeast corner of the stadium where the football team practices, that would be a possibility, but locating it outside the walls would mean it would be more easily accessible to other softball leagues after the high school season is over.