Town of Houlton and Houlton Schools team up to utulize Millar Civic Center

Published: Apr. 6, 2023 at 10:33 AM EDT
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HOULTON, Maine (WAGM) - The Town of Houlton and Houlton High School are teaming up to utilize the Millar Civic Center in the spring. Several of the Shiretowners teams are now using the Civic Center to hold practices in preparation for the start of the season.

Haly Nickerson):” It’s good for both of us. It works out they get more time and space and we get a little bit more going on. As we continue to collaborate, we are only going to expand.”

(Jon Solomon):” Trying to fit everyone into the gym as becoming an impossible task without kids getting home at 10 or 11 o’clock at night. It worked out pretty well we were able to put some of the High School teams at the arena, give them a bigger space. For baseball and softball and even lacrosse they get a little more of a realistic feel to work.”

The town of Houlton has purchased L screens and batting cages, which they are still waiting on . NIckerson says the hope is that there will be community usage from Little League on up and she has reached out to other communities in the area also.

Nickerson:” I have reached out to some of the other schools in the southern part of the County and happy to have them as well and make more use of the equipment we have got.”

Softball Coach Travis Gentle says that being able to practice in the Civic Center is the next best thing to being on the field

(Travis Gentle:” Almost to the point it is simulating in theory that we are outside. We are able to do a lot more things. Take fly balls. Almost a full infield and outfield for my softball team versus being in the gym where I can only hit a few fly balls.”

Gentle said that one of the pluses of the larger building is that he will be able to work with the whole team in different parts of civic center and not having to split the team into groups for different drills. They will be able to work on different game situations.

Gentle:” It’s wide open we will have the cages here when they get here. I got pitching machine and pitching and infield and outfield all going on at the same time. We are able to do a lot more situations with our outfielders and infielders with cut-offs and things like that. Work on our hit and run and bunting where in the gym we are limited to so much we can do.”

Many of the other varsity sports are also utilizing the space and holding practices including track, lacrosse, and baseball. Nickerson said the goal for down the road is to add more equipment and have more of the community utilize the space for different sporting practices and clinics.

Nickerson:” Those will be a huge help for the program. Long term things like turf or rubberized flooring so that we can have even more athletics here in the off season and capitalize on the space.”