Biddeford’s Waterhouse Field: Community comes together

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Biddeford’s Waterhouse Field: Community comes together

Postby Tom Nolette » Mon Apr 17, 2017 4:30 am

Biddeford’s Waterhouse Field closure forces move of Lobster Bowl, graduation
The bleachers at the iconic Biddeford field have been deemed unsafe.

...The report concluded that “the bleachers and press box should be closed pending further analysis.” It also stated that repairing the bleachers “may be cost-prohibitive when compared to a complete replacement of the bleachers.”

The visiting bleachers were installed in 1985, as were the lights, and the home bleachers in 1999. Both sides have had substantial repairs over the years.

“We knew this was coming,” said Mayor Alan Casavant. “It’s not a shock. We’ve been worried about those bleachers for a while. Once the engineer gave his report it brought everything to forefront. We’ve had a lot of public debate in last year or so; now all of a sudden it’s a reality check because we have to do something.”

http://www.pressherald.com/2017/04/12/w ... raduation/
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Re: Biddeford’s Waterhouse Field closure

Postby Tom Nolette » Mon Apr 17, 2017 4:31 am

Empty feeling comes for next high school football season
Season won't be the same with closure of Biddeford's Waterhouse Field, Dave Dyer writes

...This is news that hits hard on several levels. It hits hard first and foremost for the players, raised by fathers or uncles who likely were members of the Biddeford heyday under Landry. Raised on the stories of how Landry — who had a record of 135-37 over his 17 years at Biddeford — could get the most out of each and every one of his players. The next dynasty can always begin this season for the Tigers, but without Waterhouse Field to play on, it would be an odd beginning to that dynasty.

It hits hard for Biddeford parents and alumni, who showed up early enough on Friday nights or early Saturday afternoons to park their vehicles in the grassy area just beyond the press box bleachers, and create a near traffic jam on West Street just to do so, simply for the possibility of having the best parking spot in the house. Or those who greeted people at the ticket booth on the Prospect Street side, the 50-50 raffle game that greets you immediately after buying your ticket. Or the crew at the concession stand — who in this writer’s opinion put together some of the best game day food in York County.

http://www.centralmaine.com/2017/04/16/ ... ll-season/
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Re: Biddeford’s Waterhouse Field closure

Postby hoopsisme » Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:18 pm

Where will Biddeford play thier fb games?
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Re: Biddeford’s Waterhouse Field closure

Postby Tom Nolette » Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:50 am

... Senior wide receiver and cornerback Patrick Pearl also felt sad for the younger classes, who may not be able to experience the historic field in the same manner as the groups before them. However, he is confident and hopeful that Waterhouse will be up and running sooner rather than later, and will once again be the hub of sports for the Biddeford community.

“It’s sad because it’s such a tradition to play there. I got to play there all four years so I was happy but the guys that haven’t, I was a little disappointed for them,” said Pearl. “I’m sure whatever they do they will make a great facility. I hope they try to keep it as much of the same as they can, but renovate it so it’s safe for everyone to go there.”

Brian Curit also expects to see improvements in the near future.

“I’ve long said that it’s a very special place. People from all over the state of Maine want to play at Waterhouse Field,” said Brian Curit. “You’re right on top of the action, you have that sense of the action, it’s difficult to beat. Waterhouse just needs a little T.L.C. — I’m confident with everyone working together that we’ll be able to do that

http://www.journaltribune.com/news/2017 ... osure.html
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Re: Biddeford’s Waterhouse Field closure

Postby Tom Nolette » Tue Apr 25, 2017 5:14 am

As clock winds down on Biddeford’s iconic stadium, no easy game plan
Financial, emotional and safety issues complicate the next steps in deciding the fate of deteriorated Waterhouse Field.

...Waterhouse Field is owned by a nonprofit – the Waterhouse Field Alumni Association – and has been leased to the city for $1 a year since 1973.

The field dates to 1929, when Alfred L. Waterhouse, a local hardware store worker, and several local investors purchased the site and built a playing field for schoolboys. Two years later, after several investor pledges went unpaid during the Depression and the field mortgage fell into default, Waterhouse poured his own money into the field. During the 1930s, he added fencing and lighting for evening football games.

The field was named for Waterhouse in 1954, even though he generally preferred that his contributions remain anonymous.

http://www.pressherald.com/2017/04/25/a ... game-plan/
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Re: Biddeford’s Waterhouse Field closure

Postby TAallday » Thu May 11, 2017 9:32 am

I thought I would give everyone an update on the situation at Waterhouse.

This Saturday, May 13th, a local man and over 300 volunteers are expected to descend on Waterhouse Field. Jim Godbout, a TA grad and owner of Jim Godbout Plumbing and Heating, has been a stalwart of community engagement and good for years in the Saco-Biddeford area. He posted the following on Facebook on May 6th.

"WATERHOUSE FIELD VOLUNTEERS 8-1 next saturday morning May 13th looking for very large volunteer staff, skill sets can vary, you will be put with core leaders during demolition according to your strengths. Need people with adjustable wrenches, sockets, step ladders, gloves, safety gear, cutting wheels if you have them. High work will be done by some of my core men, need laborers to stack beacher boards and pick up steel once pulled apart. support staff with coffee and refreshments always welcome. This can be dangerous work. This structure is much worse then engineer talked about in field report, long over due. It was extremly nice to see people from both sides of bridge willing to give a hand to our community which is one. please share and get word out!!!!!
Just so everyone knows I will need waivers signed WHICH WE WILL PROVIDE for insurance company prior to any work performed. Thank you Jim"

In under two days, Jim had hundreds of comments, shares, and commitments. Some local businesses offered to cease operations for the day to send their entire crews to help (Ruck Paving and Nate Libby Masonry were two I saw early on). This event should be impressive. The volunteers plan to dismantle the entire bleacher apparatus and do other pieces of the work too.

I cannot make it over on Saturday, but man, I hope this gets the recognition that it deserves. Thanks to Jim and everyone who will make this an awesome event.
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Re: Biddeford’s Waterhouse Field closure

Postby Tom Nolette » Fri May 12, 2017 4:46 am

Waterhouse Field bleachers ready to be dismantled
Volunteers will tear down the seating at Biddeford's iconic field, but questions remain on the future of the facility.

BIDDEFORD — Over 350 volunteers are expected at Waterhouse Field on Saturday to tear down the condemned bleachers at the iconic home of Biddeford High football.

Removal of the bleachers is a significant step toward the goal of getting Waterhouse ready to use in some capacity by the 2017 fall sports season, said Jim Godbout, president of the Waterhouse Field Alumni Association.

“With the (old) bleachers gone we can use the facility,” Godbout said, “whether that’s with no bleachers or temporary bleachers.”

http://www.pressherald.com/2017/05/11/w ... ismantled/
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Re: Biddeford’s Waterhouse Field closure

Postby Tom Nolette » Sun May 14, 2017 3:54 am

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Re: Biddeford’s Waterhouse Field closure

Postby Tom Nolette » Sat Jul 29, 2017 5:18 am

Waterhouse Field renovations coming along
The historic facility will get new lights and a scoreboard and will use temporary bleachers for the football season.

...Waterhouse Field has been stripped down so it can rise again.

“There’s going to be some challenges but the goal is to play all of our games there this fall,” said Dennis Walton, Biddeford High’s athletic director.

New lights, a new 24-foot high scoreboard with video playback capability, a refurbished free-standing press box, and new perimeter fencing along West and Prospect streets are expected to be in place when Biddeford opens its football season Sept. 1 against Westbrook.

Temporary bleachers will be used this season, but permanent bleachers designed to seat 1,550 fans on the home side and 500 more on the visiting side have been ordered from E&D Specialty Stands of North Collins, New York, the same company that installed bleachers last year at Massabesic High.

http://www.pressherald.com/2017/07/29/w ... ing-along/
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Re: Biddeford’s Waterhouse Field closure

Postby WMTW » Thu Aug 17, 2017 3:36 am

Travis Lee‏ @TLee_WMTW
After being on life support for a few months, Waterhouse Field looks ready to come to life for football season.
https://twitter.com/TLee_WMTW/status/897950215579160576
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