New additions enhance Lowell Park
It’s been a labor of love, but the finishing touches have been worth the sweat, say members of the Cotuit Athletic Association. In addition to fielding another high-caliber team this summer that is competing in Cape Cod Baseball League action, the CAA has completed Phase I of a three-phase project designed to enhance the Kettleer experience for fans and players alike.
“The organization and the fans had outgrown the building,” says Paul Logan, chairman of the CAA building committee that was the catalyst behind the new field office building at Elizabeth Lowell Park. “We’re trying to give our fans what they want, the comfort of a good ball park with top-quality announcing and merchandise.”
The new building was designed to allow for expansion of the kitchen, the broadcasting facilities, the Kettleer store, as well as creating a space where the team’s operations can be housed. Coming in on target at its $155,000 estimate, the building officially opened June 25 in a dedication ceremony at the field and has been paid for entirely through private funds. According to CAA officials, Cotuit remains the only team in the CCBL to fully maintain its playing field and park without the use of public funds.
League President Judy Walden Scarafile says, “The Cotuit press box is one of the most spectacular press boxes and field office buildings I have ever seen. It is so in keeping with the lovely surroundings around Lowell Park. It looks like it has always been there. Inside, the three offices set up for media are state of the art ... sound proof, good viewing, leather chairs. The volunteers in Cotuit are to be commended for the outstanding job they did in building this field office.”
Logan says that Cotuit followers deserve nothing less than a top-rate facility and is pleased to be able to reward them for their loyalty. As a result, players get the fringe benefits of playing before an enthusiastic and committed crowd. “We didn’t directly do this for the players, but so many of them have commented on how much they like it and how welcome they feel here.”
The project was tossed around for several years before the big push came in 2002. Since that time, the process took on new momentum with Logan at the helm and people such as architect Tim Luff of Archi-tech Associates and general contractor Carey Grover of Grover McElheny Custom Builders donating their time and experience. The building committee also was driven by the work of volunteers such as Rod Ames, Ward Dunning, Clyde Takala and Sue Pina, along with CAA president Martha Johnston, general manager Bruce Murphy and Cape League dignitary Arnold Mycock.
Johnston says an ongoing fund-raising campaign, including an engraved brick fund-raiser and a golf tournament, will enable the CAA to move forward with its plans for the next two phases of renovations and construction, which include installing new bathrooms, renovating the kitchens, enhancing and upgrading grandstands, and erecting a new scoreboard.
Central to the project’s success was the work by CAA volunteers as well as business and tradespeople throughout the area who gave both energy and product. “Without the dedication of our volunteers, this wouldn’t have happened,” says Logan. “Tim and Carey have given their time as have so many business owners with their labor. It’s been a real coming together of the CAA, the town, volunteers, and members of the community.”
And that’s the real point, says Logan, noting how the Cape League exemplifies so much of Cape Cod at-large. “The building is beautiful,” he says, “and it fits in so well with the village. So many volunteers and businesses have made this happen that it’s something everyone in Cotuit can be proud of.”