Pawtucket Times

City will offer final look at McCoy Stadium

- By JON BAKER jbaker@pawtuckett­

PAWTUCKET – Plans are in the works to open McCoy Stadium to residents sometime early next year so they can walk through the old ballyard and relive vivid memories watching the Pawtucket Red Sox between 1970 and 2019.

According to Wilder Arboleda, Mayor Donald Grebien’s Deputy Director of Administra­tion, the Mayor’s Office had fielded some phone calls from a few folks interested in taking a final look, but he really began thinking about the prospect when some family members of the late Thomas P. McCoy, the stadium’s namesake and Pawtucket mayor between 1936-45, requested the same.

“The mayor connected with the McCoy family and did a walkthroug­h a few months ago,” Arboleda said. “Because they had interest in it, the mayor thought why not do it for all the residents. He wanted to make sure they had the opportunit­y to say farewell to McCoy. He understand­s the memories people have and the emotional and historical significan­ce of the park because he went through it, too.

“He wanted to make sure that everybody had that closure while also celebratin­g the new era coming in, which is a brand new, state-of-the-art high school for our students,” he added. “We’re still working out the details for an event, including what we’ll name it. It’s still early in the process.

“The mayor has some profession­als working on what the options are, and – hopefully – we’ll be getting some informatio­n back relatively soon as to those plans and decisions. One thing’s for sure: The mayor wants to make sure it’s done right, but it’s all about honoring what McCoy Stadium has meant to the community for decades.

“The mayor worked

day and night trying to keep the PawSox in Pawtucket; however, he also understand­s for whatever reasons that didn’t happen, so there’s no need to look back. Here we are now with the opportunit­y to have the Tidewater Landing project, which is a phenomenal waterfront project that will change our city for decades to come.”

Arboleda also said the mayor is thankful that the residents overwhelmi­ngly voted to approve Question 4, which calls for the constructi­on of the new unified high school campus, which will include a complete career and technical education center for students who want to enter a trade.

“The CTE programs, that’s what it’s all about for him – being able to look to the future,” he said. “If you look at what’s been done over the past few years, with some work being done on all of the schools and Winters Elementary being built from the ground up, and Baldwin just having had its groundbrea­king, it’s exciting. Now it’s time for our high school students.”

Arboleda himself is a Pawtucket native and Tolman High grad, so he was asked how he feels about the demolition of McCoy Stadium, which is slated for some time in late winter or early spring, for the new high school.

“While it’s sad to see the stadium go, I think the residents understand it’s time for a change and to use the land for something positive,” he said. “I’m a native and I’m excited about the school. The way I look at it, it’s a double-edged sword; on the one hand, we’re saying goodbye to something that meant so much to the community for 50 years or more, and on the other, we’re welcoming something that will mean so much to the community.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States