ELLSWORTH, Maine — Del Luce Stadium, the track and field complex on Forest Avenue where many local high school students compete in athletic events, is about to get a facelift.
The City Council voted Monday night to spend $91,909 on new bleachers for the facility. The councilors also approved spending an additional $4,040 on improvements to the soccer field inside the track.
The old bleachers at the stadium, which were made out of wood in the 1980s, were not compliant with the federal Americans With Disabilities Act, according to Ellsworth school officials. The new ones will be made from aluminum and will have a wheelchair-accessible ramp.
“The old bleachers were a safety hazard and needed to go,” Dan Higgins, the city’s new superintendent of schools, told the council.
The new bleachers will have seating for about 800 people, roughly the same as the old wooden bleachers, city officials said. School officials hope to acquire additional aluminum bleachers that can accommodate between 300 and 500 people and, if funding becomes available, would be installed at the football field at the high school.
The improvements are expected to be complete by the time school starts again this fall, school officials said.
The council approved other expenditures Monday for the city’s reorganized school system, which was part of Regional School Unit 24 until the end of June. The councilors approved the purchase of a pickup truck and plow, for the price of $28,512, for use by the School Department’s maintenance and transportation staff. The council also approved spending $12,373 for new time clock software and associated hardware that will be used by School Department employees.
Likewise, the city’s Fire Department received approval from the council on Monday to buy new equipment. The board granted requests from Fire Chief Richard Tupper to spend $29,352 on new extrication equipment and upgrades and an additional $20,560 for four new firefighter air tanks. The purchases will be funded through a dedicated Fire Department capital improvement account.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly characterized the seating capacity of the new bleachers as being less than the previous arrangement.