NEW BEDFORD (WBSM)—New Bedford High School celebrated the official opening of its new state-of-the-art turf athletic field this morning.

Mayor Jon Mitchell, Superintendent Andrew O'Leary, school committee members and city councilors gathered at New Bedford High School for the ribbon cutting of the newest field, home to the Whalers field hockey and lacrosse teams.

The new field is the latest in a long line of recent improvements for New Bedford athletic facilities.

WBSM-AM/AM 1420 logo
Get our free mobile app

Over the past decade, millions of dollars have been invested in NBHS athletics, including a new softball field, indoor pool, turf soccer field, and a modern weight room and fitness center that rivals those found on college campuses.

The new field, built on the high school's former tennis complex, is located behind the softball field at the corner of Parker and Liberty Streets.

Surrounded by ornamental fencing and newly planted trees, it has a new scoreboard, bleachers, safety netting, and an underground drainage system.

Superintendent O'Leary noted it was the culmination of two years of effort behind the engineering legal work and designs to provide the best for the school and its students.

Mary Serreze/Townsquare Media
Mary Serreze/Townsquare Media

"Student-athletes give their best, they deserve the best, and it's exciting to see that. As a school, we are going to keep that," O'Leary said.

"The latest investment is part of that promise, part of that commitment to equity, part of our commitment to inclusion," he said.

The new field also brings public health benefits 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.

Ariel Dorsey/Townsquare Media
Ariel Dorsey/Townsquare Media

"When you show up and see how squared away all of this is, it reflects something that happens within the school's walls. That's the New Bedford high school we want to project to the world. It's a place where your kids can all do well with the source of opportunity," Mayor Mitchell said.

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

'I Went to New Bedford High School. Of Course I...'

A New Bedford High School graduate prompted folks on Facebook: "I went to New Bedford High School. Of course I ..." People didn't disappoint in jumping on the trend. Here are a few memories from NBHS alumni.

Gallery Credit: Jackson Scott

"Wish Houses" Created by Massachusetts and Rhode Island Students

Rosemary's Wish Kids is a non-profit organization that grants wishes to ill children between the ages of 3 and 12. Students from vocational programs in Massachusetts and Rhode Island collaborate by building playhouses or "wish houses" specifically designed for each child. 

Gallery Credit: Ariel Dorsey

More From WBSM-AM/AM 1420