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