Stadium Improvements On Display

New Turf and Track Are the Key Features


The RMHS stadium has a fresh surface for its field and track.

RMHS showcased its new turf field for the first time during the football team’s 21-0 home opener win against Danvers on September 23.  

After months of construction, the stadium turf was finished on September 22, 2022. The project had displaced the spring sports teams when the construction began, and the fall sports teams had been fighting for time on Turf II. The completion of the stadium turf will provide more opportunities for teams to practice and play as well as a safer option for those competing on it. Athletic Director Mr. Zaya confirmed in an interview that this was the first major renovation that stadium has had since the turf was first put in during 2007-2008.

The project included putting in new turf for the stadium and a new surface for the track, a new scoreboard, landscaping, and a retrofit for stadium lighting. The company in charge of the $3 million project approved by a Town Meeting was Activitas, an athletic facilities designer and landscaping company based out of Dedham, Massachusetts. Activitas has a good reputation in New England, having done work on many facilities at local colleges and high schools. They have also completed projects at Gillette Stadium and Harvard University. They previously completed the Turf II project at RMHS in 2019.

New brick columns form a gate at the new-look RMHS stadium.

Activitas’s work on the stadium has received a lot of praise from those around the school. Quarterback James Murphy (‘23) said, “I think the new turf is amazing. It is a great investment not only for the football team, but all Reading athletics. It is also much safer and we will hopefully see less injuries as a result of the new turf.” Mr. Zaya had a similar review for the project. “I’m very happy with the project,” he said. “Activitas and their architects did a great job.  The townspeople did a great job in planning. I think it’s a fabulous facility–it’s almost college-like.” 

The school had to overcome a number of obstacles during this project. The construction of the turf caused several different RMHS teams to relocate where they practice and play. The spring track teams were forced to travel to Lynnfield in order to practice after school and had only one home meet. The Boys Lacrosse Team was forced to give up home field advantage when they made their deep playoff run last year. 

On top of that, the delay of the completion provided further complications for the school. The project was supposed to be finished mid-August. However, according to a Daily Times Chronicle article, Superintendent Milaschewski said the subcontractor for the track, Cape and Islands Company, had supply issues for the track surface and a labor shortage for the project. Dr. Milaschewski said the delay was “totally unexpected” and he expected no further delays from that point on.   

However, Mr. Zaya confirmed that the project is not finished yet. “Left to do is striping of the track. There’s a few little odds and ends, and the other major thing is the installation of a new scoreboard,” Mr. Zaya said. “The track is scheduled to be done next week, and the scoreboard is mid to late October.” No specific dates were given for the track or the scoreboard, but Mr. Zaya appeared confident that these last steps of the project will be done soon.