Robie Field, where the Gorham High School softball team plays, needs to be resurfaced to make it level, and it also requires drainage improvements. Robert Lowell / American Journal

Robie Field, the home field of the Gorham High School softball team, is on deck for a new surface as one step in sprucing up the entire town-owned Robie Park.

The Gorham Town Council Tuesday unanimously approved sending the project to its Finance Committee while Recreation Director Cindy Hazelton develops engineering cost estimates.

“The playing surface of Robie Field needs to be addressed,” Hazelton told councilors. “The field is in sore need of repair.”

The infield and outfield are not level and the necessary repair work includes drainage. A 2- to 3-foot elevation difference exists from the infield to the outfield and water pools behind third base, Town Councilor Phil Gagnon said following Tuesday’s meeting. He is concerned for players’ safety, he said.

The Recreation Department and School Department will likely collaborate on the project and an initial estimated cost of $55,000 might not be sufficient. Funds to pay for field work could come from a town contingency account.

Following a review by the Finance Committee, the project could return for Town Council action in March. Gagnon said he expects work to begin at the field in the fall.


The need for the repairs emerged as part of a town committee’s master plan study of the 6.7-acre Robie Park, which, in addition to the softball field, includes a playground and basketball court and is a popular dog-walking spot.

The Robie Park Steering Committee will get its first look at consultant Aceto Landscape Architects’ proposal for the park at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 10, in Conference Room A at the municipal center.

The town has $275,000 of federal American Rescue Plan Act funds earmarked for the park separate from the softball field upgrade.

Robie Field showing the pines cut in 2022. Contributed / Town of Gorham

The steering committee was formed after neighbors and Friends of Robie Park launched a save-the-park campaign in the wake of the the School Department’s removal of a pine grove there in April 2022 because of safety concerns.

The committee’s work packed the council’s chambers meeting last July and it solicited public input for park improvements. Public suggestions included adding benches, restrooms and planting more trees.

Gagnon said the steering committee plans to wrap up its work in a couple of months, and he hopes that an improved park “brings more activity to the area.”

Also on Tuesday, the Town Council designated Chairwoman Suzanne Phillips as its liaison with the University of Southern Maine. As liaison, Phillips will work with USM on parking and other issues of local impact. Parking became a recent issue when USM began charging for parking on the Gorham campus, a change that caught many Gorham residents unaware.

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