Council Mulls New Athletic Facility for Rindge and Latin

* In first post-election meeting, officials delve into spending issues

Cambridge City Council reacted positively on Monday night when vocal residents pushed hard in favor of a new stadium and track facility for Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School athletes.

In the Council's first meeting since all nine of its members were re-elected, about 50 people in attendance pressed members to turn their focus back to dealing concretely with local problems.

Joseph G. Grassi and E. Denise Simmons, members of the Cambridge School Committee, reminded the Council that the School Committee had already unanimously passed a motion supporting the development of the new facility.

Grassi said that Russell Field, the current home for the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School football team, has "substandard conditions without bathroom facilities."

Russell Stadium also lacks running water and lights.

The high school's football team currently practices on the Cambridge Common, which one community member described as "a broken leg waiting to happen."

Rindge and Latin's track team has to rely on MIT's and Harvard's facilities to practice.

The Council was responsive to the community demands.

"We have the money, we have the will," said Councillor Kenneth E. Reeves '72. "There is no reason we should not have the facility."

Anthony D. Galluccio, a councillor and former member of Rindge and Latin's football team said,

"I am not going to another football game, which I love to go to, where I have to hear, 'Hey, Galluccio, where's our bathroom?'"

Jamalh Prince, the boys' track coach, said he thought the prospect for a new football and track facility are good.

"We were heard loud and clear this evening," he said.

Others in attendance spoke out about the pending demolition of several buildings in Central Square and the construction of a seven-story high rise.

Community members expressed their dismay that the Holmes Realty Trust was planning to evict several small businesses in the Central Square area.

They cited a petition signed by nearly 2,500 people supporting the Save Central Square initiative to turn back the development efforts.