Glory to Dartmouth: Stadium renovations are a big hit


Robert Perrotti

An aerial view of Memorial Stadium.

Last Thursday, the Brockton High Boys Soccer team squeaked past DHS, 3-4, in the first home game of the season. Last Thursday’s game was also the beginning of a new era for DHS athletics at the Dartmouth Memorial Stadium because it was the first game played on the newly installed turf.

“In 1949, it was built really well,” said Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations James Kiely. Dartmouth Memorial Stadium was built in 1949 by local World War II veterans to pay tribute to the local fallen in the war. For 70 years, the stadium has had few updates.The lights were added in the 70s, but complaints about the performance of the lights has always been an issue.

In beginning of April 2019, the Dartmouth School Committee awarded a $1.7 million contract to Greenacres Landscaping & Construction of Lakeville to commence Phase One – inserting the turf and new lights.  Athletes and fans both were doubtful of the work’s completion before the first home football game of the season against Old Rochester Regional. 

However, Phase One was completed before the first football home game. The turf will be expected to endure much more use due to the durability of the giant green carpet. Dean of Students and Defensive Coordinator Michael Martin said, “One of the biggest advantages of having a turf field is the consistency.”

“Turf is basically a carpet,” said Mr. Martin. “It has sand, gravel, and drainage underneath the carpet.” Artificial turf is a surface of synthetic fibers made to look like grass. The turf is rolled onto the sanded and graveled surface, and then sewn together. To protect the turf, the groundskeepers will tend the field by completing a bi-weekly magnet check. This will remove pieces of jewelry or other metal that could damage the turf.

“Many colleges have turf for multi-purposes. We [DHS] also use it for multi-purposes,” said Mr. Martin. He was alluding to the constant wear and tear from different programs like marching band, football, and lacrosse. 

The renovation of the Dartmouth Memorial Stadium is separated into three phases. Phase One – installing the turf and the lights – cost $1. 7 million. Phase Two – renovating and modernizing the home stands – has been merged with Phase Three, updating the away stands and the utilities. The total cost of the merge will be $1.9 million, and the phases will be completed in Summer 2020. 

Even though the renovations are not fully completed, the Phase One additions created a different atmosphere at Dartmouth Memorial Stadium. New lines were added to indicate different sports, a giant, lime green “D” logo  was placed on the 50 yard line, a drainage system was installed, and modern lights were installed to halt complaints. There is also a parking lot under way behind the away stands that will hold about 70 cars.

“The lights are maintained by the company who installed them,” said Mr. Kiely.  The new lights are cost-efficient LEDs and were positioned using lasers. The lasers can indicate when and where the light should be shined.

Mr. Martin was glad that Dartmouth Memorial Stadium was renovated. “The greatest advantage of renovating the Stadium is preserving the history behind it,” said Mr. Martin.  Dartmouth Memorial Stadium was planning a tribute for the veterans before the ORR game, but due to Triple E scares, it was postponed for later in the season. Mr. Martin hopes the turf field will mean a lot to the community; he is hoping one day that DYSA, DLAX, and DYFA could all use the turf field.

Mr. Martin was excited for the first home game. He wanted to wait until the first game to experience the new field. “It is a special moment, “ said Mr. Martin.“ It’s like finding out the [gender] of a baby.”