Groundbreaking Ceremony ~ November 11, 2009
In October of 2004, a report by Structural Integrity Group stated that the grandstands at Bowditch Field were in a rapidly deteriorating state. It was next to impossible and highly impractical to restore the concrete grandstands to a reasonable state of repair.
In June of 2005, Town Meeting voted to appropriate $450,000 to produce a Master Plan for the site to resolve the grandstand structural problems; locker room and rest room accommodations; building code, accessibility, and environmental issues; and maintenance facility concerns.
In April of 2007, the Master Plan was completed with a conceptual design of the new stadium and a Maintenance & Operations Facility to be moved to the Long’s Athletic Complex. In June of 2007, the project failed by a narrow margin to obtain a two thirds vote needed for the capital project.
October of 2007, the Bowditch Advisory Committee was created to review the Master Plan and the project. The 19 member committee consisted of a wide array of experienced community officials. They met five times over several months with project Architects, Engineers, Planners, and researched the concerns raised at the previous Town Meeting. The Advisory Committee concluded that the project was well planned, yet underfinanced, and should be supported as one appropriation and one project rather than a phased approach as recommended in the Master Plan. The committee reviewed their findings at public meetings and made a final recommendation to the 2008 Annual Town Meeting.
May 2008 Annual Town Meeting heard a presentation from Park and Recreation Director, Robert Merusi, and Michael Grilli, Chairman of the Bowditch Advisory Committee. Town Meeting voted 135 in favor and 10 opposed to fund 7.9 million dollars for the construction of a new maintenance facility at Long’s Athletic Complex and to renovate the Bowditch Athletic Complex.