City leaders broke ground on the Harry Della Russo Stadium project on Monday afternoon, proclaiming the long-overdue overhaul as a major contribution to the revitalization of Broadway.
“This state-of-the-art Stadium plan is another step forward in our overall plan to revitalize our downtown district,” said Mayor Dan Rizzo.
The new Stadium plan will include a regulation track, a new turf football/soccer field, new bleachers, restrooms, new locker rooms, a new concession stand, two new basketball courts, two new tennis courts, a new press box and a field house.
The project will work hand-in-hand with the new Hill School that is being build immediately to the East of the Stadium and which will share a unique plaza area with the Stadium. The school had a groundbreaking earlier this month.
One of the major accomplishments will not only be having an all-weather turf sports field, but also having a regulation running track.
“This will be the first time in the City’s history our student athletes will have a fully regulation track in Revere,” said Rizzo.
Both Rizzo and Supt. Paul Dakin said they hoped that the new Stadium would not only serve the young population, but also that of other ages as well.
“This is something that will be useful for our sports teams, but also for people of all ages,” said Rizzo, envisioning daytime walking clubs or morning adult exercise groups.
Dakin said it will present an opportunity for older adults to model the healthy lifestyles that are being taught to young people in the fight against childhood obesity.
“I think us older folks and adults in here walking and exercising will model some of the things we want our children to model and that we are teaching them in the fight against childhood obesity,” he said.
He also said it would lead to an activity area in the central part of the city, rather than the traditional exercise area of Revere Beach.
Richard Sullivan, secretary of the executive office of environmental affairs, said the project presents residents with a better quality of life.
“The fabric of a community is the open spaces and parks opportunities a community has to offer its residents,” he said.
Already, the old concrete block walls – circa 1930 – have been torn down to make way for a less prison-like ornamental fence.
“That’s a 100 percent upgrade already,” said Revere High School Athletic Director Shaun Hart. “It looks so much more spacious in here without the wall.”
The contractor for the project is Heimlich Company and the project should be completed this October.