BANGOR, Maine — The Bangor High School football team won’t have to take a bus trip to its home games this fall.
New locker-room facilities at the Rams’ home field, Cameron Stadium, are near completion and expected to be ready for the team’s Sept. 1 Class A season opener against Edward Little of Auburn.
“The kids are really excited about it, they’ve been talking about it since the end of the school year last year,” said Bangor High School head football coach Alan Mosca before conducting a youth football clinic at the stadium Wednesday evening.
“It’s really going to add a lot of excitement on Fridays. We won’t be changing at the high school and busing down, we’ll come down on our own like we did prior to the old grandstand being torn down and change up here. This will be our home.”
The addition of locker rooms and storage space behind the home bleachers is the latest phase of renovation efforts at the multisport facility, which originally was constructed in 1944 and is operated by the city’s school department.
Cameron Stadium is home to the Bangor High School football program, Bangor Junior Rams youth football, other sports teams and numerous track and field events, and also is available to walkers and joggers from throughout the Queen City.
The initial phase of the project, completed in 2013, involved replacing the original grandstand with bleacher seating for 2,800 topped by a new press box, addressing handicapped accessibility issues and replacing the stadium lights and electrical system.
Subsequent improvements have included adding bathrooms behind the home bleachers as well as construction of a separate storage building used in part by the city’s youth football program.
There is no specific timetable for other sought-after improvements such as the addition of an artificial-turf surface surrounded by a new eight-lane track to replace the current six-lane oval. Those improvements are subject to funding availability.
The latest $625,000 stage of the renovation project involved adding a wing on each side of the bathroom facility to house two locker rooms that will hold 60 wooden cubicles each as well as showers, toilets and urinals, said Alan Kochis, director of business services for the Bangor School Department.
The new construction, which Kochis said was funded by bond issue as well as $100,000 raised by the Friends of Cameron Stadium group, also includes storage space for Bangor Parks and Recreation equipment as well as track and field gear used for meets and practices at the stadium.
Work remaining to be completed on the locker-room building includes installation of a metal roof, plumbing, ground work and installing wooden player cubicles that currently are being constructed.
Kochis said the building would be available for use on Aug. 25 when Bangor hosts Brewer in a preseason football game, and that the cubicles should be installed in time for the Rams’ first regular-season game a week later.
“With the new lights and bleachers and now with the rest rooms and locker rooms, it makes this a very nice facility for this area,” said Kochis.