New Girls’ Softball Field Taking Shape at Haverhill High

Construction of the new girls' softball field is underway, according to Haverhill Athletic Director Tom O'Brien. (Courtesy photograph)

Construction of the new girls’ softball field is underway, according to Haverhill Athletic Director Tom O’Brien. (Video screen capture)

Snow may cover Haverhill High’s construction on the new girls’ softball field at the moment, but Athletics Director Tom O’Brien confirms warm weather isn’t the only thing to look forward to this spring. A new, state-of-the-art, multi-use sports facility is taking shape after a five-year process makes good to give female athletes a field of their own.

Under the direction of Kerwin Construction since November, the “thrilling” project brings to fruition a team effort from many in Haverhill, O’Brien said in a video recap of the construction.

“I give all the credit in the world to the Mayor, City Council, School Committee and the Haverhill High School administration to not only build a softball facility, but a multi-purpose facility that’s going to benefit thousands of student athletes and our community,” the sports chief said.

Last summer, the grounds behind Haverhill High School were chosen over Trinity Stadium and Riverside Park as the location for the new field. When plans for the field were first discussed, Councilor Colin F. LePage said the project is a long overdue necessity because it helps the city meet equal educational opportunities required by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.

Councilor Mary Ellen Daly O’Brien agreed with LePage. “I’m from the time before Title 9. I know what I didn’t get,” Daly O’Brien said, referring to the law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program.

Boston-based landscape design firm Brown, Richardson & Rowe, the same firm that created the playground at Swasey Field, was commissioned by the city to survey the three possible locations for the field, estimating that an installation on the grounds of 137 Monument St., would carry a $700,000 price tag.

According to Tom O’Brien, crews will work through the winter to finalize the Haverhill High-based complex, expected to include dugouts and batting cages. Once the softball season is through, field hockey and soccer teams—including those on the youth level—will take over the turf.

A springtime opening is planned, the athletics director said.