By Melissa Fili
MethuenLife Writer

Warped, worn, dinged and dilapidated.

The Veterans Park street hockey rink sure has seen better days!

Thanks to local and federal ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) money, the city is renovating many outdoor areas and – after much public discussion – this spot made the Parks and Rec Department list!

While plans are not finalized, the street hockey rink – located off Milk Street – will be razed this spring and transformed into a “multi-use” set-up for adults and kids in that footprint. Orange netting now surrounds the rink, which is closed.

During last month’s “Conversation on Methuen’s Recreational Spaces, Part 3” at City Hall, Parks and Rec Director Steve Angelo, City Council Chair Joel Faretra and state Rep. Ryan Hamilton discussed an array of city park improvement plans with the public.    

Some projects that have been completed or are in process:

*The city’s first dog park and full-size basketball court, opening at the Gill Avenue Park this spring.

*Tennis courts renovation, addition of 6 pickleball courts and a baseball field re-design all at MHS, making that area a “sports complex.”

*”High-end, stadium-feel” remodel of the Francis Morse Park Field 3 on Burnham Road, where the MHS softball team plays.

*Install and upgrade LED lighting at Veterans Park and Burnham Road fields.

“The major project we’re working on right now is the Methuen High School tennis court renovation,” Angelo said of that 2-part project which aims to improve access and parking. “The whole area where the bus loop is now will be completely transformed and we’ll be adding about 92 new parking spots.”

For fiscal 2025, City Council has OK’d $500K toward park and playground renovations and there will be more public discussion about what projects should be done. 

“You can see that there’s a lot of progress being made in the city and a lot of it is owed to the community who has really pushed behind us saying, ‘These are the improvements we need,’ ” Faretra said. “We need more input from the community when it comes to these projects. …  We need the leagues to come to us and have positive conversations … and be willing to work with the city.”

Collaboration is key, he stressed. 

“These are the projects that make a difference to the community … that people want to see their tax dollars go toward,” he said.

To provide input, e-mail Angelo at SAngelo@ci.methuen.ma.us.

 

The street hockey rink at Veterans Park will be torn down this spring, paving the way for a multi-use area for kids and adults. ML photo by Melissa Fili