New State-of-the-Art Athletic Field Will Be Home to New Bedford High Field Hockey, Lacrosse Teams

Addition of Turf Field is Latest in Long Line of Improvements to Athletic Facilities

NEW BEDFORD – Mayor Jon Mitchell, Supt. Andrew O’Leary, School Committee Members and City Councilors officially opened the new state-of-the-art turf athletic field at New Bedford High School on Tuesday morning.

The new field is the latest in a long line of recent improvements for New Bedford athletic facilities. Over the past decade, millions of dollars have been invested in NBHS athletics, including a new softball field, new indoor pool, new turf soccer field, and a modern weight room and fitness center (the Bobby Watkins Fitness Center) that rivals those found on college campuses.

Located behind the softball field at the corner of Parker and Liberty streets, the new field is built on the high school’s former tennis complex. Surrounded by ornamental fencing and newly planted trees, the field has a new scoreboard, bleachers, and safety netting, as well as an underground drainage system.

The new field also brings a public health benefit to the neighborhood. Constructed with additional safety layering underneath, it puts a modern cap on the contaminated underground soil, which came from industrial dumping at the former Parker Street waste facility between the 1930s and 70s.

The project was fully funded with $2.9 million from the federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund.

“New Bedford’s student-athletes deserve first-rate athletic facilities. This new field is the latest addition in a series of major upgrades to the high school athletic campus,” Mayor Mitchell said. “I am grateful to the federal delegation and the Biden Administration for the funding that made the field possible.”

“At this time of year, as you walk down Hunter and Parker Streets, looking to the left and right, all you see are dozens and dozens of red and white clad athletes engaging in sports. Representing their city. Giving their all. But now they’re giving their all in the top-notch facilities they deserve,” Supt. O’Leary said. “This latest investment is part of that promise, part of that commitment to equity, part of our commitment to inclusion. New Bedford High School is an institution that represents all of the city, that models inclusion. And inclusion and athletics is what this investment is all about.”