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December 26, 2013

Haverhill, Lawrence get money for parks and stadium repairs

Gloucester, Salisbury, Lowell also get share of $3.2M for regional projects

HAVERHILL — Haverhill, Lawrence and several other North of Boston communities will share $3.2 million in state money to build recreational walking paths, snow sledding trails, baseball fields and make improvements to parks, playgrounds and an athletic stadium.

Rick Sullivan, the state energy and environmental affairs secretary, announced the awards yesterday at Haverhill City Hall. The money is coming from two grant programs: The Gateway City Parks program and the Parkland Acquisitions and Renovations for Communities program.

Haverhill is getting $400,000 to install new lighting and rehabilitate a section of crumbling concrete grandstand at Trinity Stadium and $612,000 for improvements to the inner city’s Swasey Park. City officials have said the 77-year-old stadium is so poorly illuminated that there is barely enough light to meet requirements for baseball.

Since 2006, the state has provided $3.4 million for repairs and improvements to the stadium, most of it to repair two of the five grandstand sections, fix structural problems and replace the grass field with artificial turf. But at least another $2 million is needed to repair crumbling sections of the stadium grandstand and install new lights, officials have said.

The rest of the money on the way to Haverhill will be used to rebuild baseball diamonds at Swasey Field and to add a walking path and snow sledding trail there. The state provided $1 million for prior improvements to the park that were completed last summer.

Lawrence received $400,000 to improve two recreational pathways at Campagnone Common across from City Hall. The money will also be used to add benches, tables and trees on the common and to improve systems that deal with storm water in the area.

Salisbury also got $400,000 for improvements to Partridge Brook Park. The project includes building a trail system and athletic fields with concession stands and rest-rooms as well as community gardens, signs and public playing areas.

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