Aging bleachers at Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth to be torn down, with eye toward amphitheater

  • Mail this page!
  • Delicious
  • 0

CAPE ELIZABETH — The Town Council on Monday approved demolition of the concrete bleachers at Fort Williams Park, with the goal of constructing an amphitheater in two years.

Councilors on Aug. 10 decided the bleachers at the park softball diamond should be demolished because they have deteriorated beyond repair. A section of bleachers in better shape will be left, so they can continue to be used for high school graduations.

Town Manager Mike McGovern said removing the bleachers will cost about $120,000. The plan was first presented to councilors in June by the Fort Williams Advisory Commission.

“We’ve worked on this bleacher project for a year now as a group, and have considered four different plans,” commission Chairwoman Lise Pratt said. “None of them have included salvaging, repairing, keeping any of the current bleachers … all of those plans have included total demolition and removal of the existing bleachers.”

The bleachers are crumbling and falling apart to the point that simply renovating and repairing them, as opposed to fully removing them, wouldn’t be feasible, the commission concluded.

McGovern said he hasn’t seen support for “throwing more money at those existing bleachers.”

Pratt said councilors shouldn’t even keep the section for graduation.

“I just want to remind you that if you do choose to keep this piece of the bleachers there, the liability and safety issue has not been completely eliminated,” she told councilors.

The council decided to do the project in phases, with the demolition to occur this winter.

The commission’s proposal to build an amphitheater will take at least a couple of years. McGovern said the total cost of the project would be close to $500,000.

Kate Gardner can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or Follow her on Twitter: @katevgardner.

Sidebar Elements

The Cape Elizabeth Town Council has decided to demolish the concrete bleachers at Fort Williams Park, to eventually make way for an amphitheater.

I'm a reporter for The Forecaster covering Freeport, Yarmouth, Chebeague Island, and Cape Elizabeth. I'm from a small town in NH no one's ever heard of. When not reporting, I can be found eating pasta and reading books, often at the same time.
  • teetime9

    Seems silly to get nostalgic about something as unimportant as concrete bleachers but the fact is my friends and I ran rampant over Fort Williams as kids; right after the base closed and before the town took steps to make the area safe — 1962 – 65. We explored underground bunkers, snuck into unoccupied barracks and officers’ quarters and occasionally found discarded, large caliber shell casings in the weeds. The bleachers in and of themselves hold no special memory for me. But their removal symbolizes one more small facet of my childhood that will soon be gone forever. They will join the old Kettle Cove Restaurant, the original Crescent Beach Inn, Bagley’s store — which would become Rudy’s of the Cape — and so many more of my former haunts, as places that have outlived their usefulness and disappeared. Necessary, inevitable, but sad nonetheless.

  • Pingback: Cape Elizabeth council, commission member clash over freedom of information – The Forecaster()

  • Pingback: New England Municipal Government News Headlines | New England City & Town News Notes()