TORRINGTON – If you plan to attend a Torrington High sporting event this fall, please arrive early.
“We’re not going to have a lot of room for people to park,” Torrington athletic director Mike McKenna said last week.
Preparations for the construction of the city’s new middle and high school building have been underway over the summer. Construction will begin in earnest in October with a school occupancy date of February 2025.
Construction of athletic fields for middle and high school sports is scheduled to begin in March 2025 with a scheduled completion date of January 2026. The project cost is estimated at $179.5 million.
With construction underway, parking will be limited for events at the high school.
“We’re planning on trying to have a normal schedule,” McKenna said. “People will have to understand that they may not be able to find a parking space.”
There are about 300 spaces available behind the school in a temporary parking lot. There is also parking in the lot across from Major Besse Drive from Besse Pond.
“That’s all we own,” McKenna said.
No restrictions have been placed on the number of attendees for home games. Cross country could see its two home meetings moved if a proper course cannot be set up on campus, but that hasn’t changed from last year to now. The first fall home game is scheduled for Friday, September 9, when the girls’ soccer team hosts Ansonia at 6 p.m.
“We are going to play the games. It’s about kids playing,” McKenna said. “We’ll play, and if people can get in to watch, they can get in to watch.”
People may have to find off-campus parking spaces, then walk to school to watch the games, which are held at the Robert Frost Sports Complex or inside the Connie Donahue Gymnasium.
When Torrington High used to play its football games at Fuessenich Park, some spectators would park in the shopping center next door and then walk onto the field. Torrington stopped playing football at the Fuessenich in 1985, when matches were moved to the Frost complex.
McKenna said fans will need to understand that it’s “kind of the nature of the beast” when it comes to playing home games during a big construction project. “The next three years are going to be absolute chaos in the high school area,” she said.
McKenna and Torrington school officials have been managing the chaos for the past two and a half hours during the COVID-19 pandemic, and this is another bump in the road. What’s happening at the complex will be great for students and the city when it’s finally completed, but disruptions should be expected until then, McKenna said.
“You can’t be perfect in between. At some point someone is going to be affected and we have to be prepared to be affected,” McKenna said.