There was a time when Bangor High School athletic administrator Steve Vanidestine hoped the seniors on the Rams’ football, soccer and field hockey teams would get to play one game late next fall on the new artificial turf surface at Cameron Stadium.
Now it looks as though they could play the majority of their 2021 home contests on it.
Vanidestine said the project, which also includes a new eight-lane track, is moving along nicely. He is targeting a late August-early September completion of the project.
In November, Bangor voters approved a $2.73 million bond issue to install an artificial turf field and an eight-lane track at Cameron Stadium behind Cohen Middle School.
The artificial surface is replacing natural grass and will enable multiple sports teams to practice and play on it. Lacrosse, which is a spring sport, would also be able to use it.
“[Bangor High School principal Paul Butler] and I have talked about having a grand opening when all of the teams can play a game on that day,” Vanidestine said.
Gordon Contracting Inc., which is based in Sangerville, is doing all the site prep work under the guidance of engineering firms Carpenter Associates of Old Town and Tighe & Bond of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Tighe & Bond developed a blueprint for the project after receiving input from Vanidestine, Bangor schools maintenance director Gabe Chase and Joe Nelson, who is in charge of school athletic facilities.
Gerry Hayman, the director of business services for the Bangor School Department, also weighed in on the process.
Vanidestine said after Gordon Contracting Inc. completes its work, which includes installing drainage and creating the base, Shaw Sports Turf will lay down the artificial turf surface and Maine Tennis and Track LLC of Gray will follow by putting in the new track.
Vanidestine said he has been impressed by everyone involved with the project and the positive collaboration that has resulted in a smooth operation so far.
“It has been a great team,” he said.
Vanidestine, who has been the athletic director at his alma mater since 1984 and was chosen the state’s top athletic administrator last year, said they have had some good fortune with the project.
The weather has been favorable and they invested in supplies early, which has helped them stick to their budget at a time when the cost of construction materials are skyrocketing.
Vanidestine said there are still a lot of variables in play, so they hope their luck continues as the project moves forward.
“I’m very pleased so far,” he said.