FARMINGTON — The Mt. Blue All-Sports Boosters are looking into upgrading Caldwell Field at Mt. Blue High School campus with artificial turf to help with drainage and reduce the chance of injury. The boosters presented their project and plans to the Regional School Unit 9 board of directors on Tuesday, July 25, and asked for their blessing to continue the project.

The stick of Mt. Blue’s Josh Smith is airborne after being flipped by as Erskine Academy’s Gavin Blanchard, right, during a boys lacrosse game at Caldwell Field in Farmington in May 2019. Tony Blasi/Sun Journal

According to Mt. Blue All-Sports Boosters President Mike Bolduc, the current condition of the field only makes it available for play three months out of the year.

“It’s roped off all summer to try and preserve it and repair it for fall sports,” Bolduc stated. “We’re hoping this turf surface is going to increase opportunities for all Franklin County athletes, not just those that attend RSU 9 schools.”

Bolduc estimates that with artificial turf, Caldwell Field could be accessible nine months out of the year and have greater access to the public as large.

Caldwell Field is named after longtime football coach Ray Caldwell, who coached for Mt. Blue from 1972 to 1992. The field was re-dedicated in 2015 after major campus renovations led the school to refer to is as competition field.

Bolduc said the current field’s drainage system is not adequately working, leaving the field unsafe to play on after light to moderate rainfall.


“Competitions are often postponed due to slippery and uneven playing surface,” he told the board. “These conditions often are the cause of knee, ankle, foot and wrist injuries in our athletes. The field is dangerous.”

Student Representative Abigail Goodspeed corroborated this statement, adding “You go to step to a ball and your foot will slide out from under you and I’ve seen a few people roll their ankles.”

“It does create a higher chance of ACL injuries,” she added.

Bolduc shared an incident last year where a girls soccer game was called off minutes before it was set to begin after the field was deemed unsafe the play on, with the opposing team traveling from Bangor. “These postponed games are a nightmare,” he added.

Artificial turf has a number of qualities that make it desirable for competitive play, as it creates an even playing field for athletes, along with it being durable and useable in almost any type of weather. Artificial turf is also cost effective and eco-friendly, as it will reduce the amount of water used to maintain a normal grass field.

Bolduc mentioned the economic impact the field will have on the community. Not only will it reduce the cost of maintenance, but it also provides local sports clubs in and around Franklin County a field to potentially rent for their matches.

Bolduc shared that the boosters would be fundraising through campaigning and the biggest sponsor would potentially get the naming rights of the athletics complex at Mt. Blue High School once the board and administration have worked through their policy and procedure for naming rights.

Mt. Blue All-Sports Boosters has invested $23,000 to pay for the survey and architectural designs for the proposed complex. Fundraising for the project is expected in the future as the boosters move forward with the project.