The City of Augusta is pleased to announce that philanthropist Robert G. Fuller, Jr. has recently committed to a donation of $1,640,000 for the express purpose of underwriting all of the remaining funding necessary to construct state-of-the art improvements to Cony High School’s Alumni Field complex. Fuller, for years a vigorous advocate for causes in the City that was home to his forebears of both Fuller and Cony lineage, recently reached out to City Manager Bill Bridgeo expressing his desire to assist with a project that would benefit the youth of the City for generations to come. The $2.3 million Alumni Field improvement project, a long sought-after community goal, had stalled a year ago due to a lack of funding and Covid-19 related municipal finance challenges. Fuller’s donation will allow the project to proceed immediately.
Institutions in Augusta which have benefited from Fuller’s generosity include MaineGeneral Medical Center, Kennebec Historical Society, Cony High School, Kennebec Valley YMCA, Old Fort Western and Lithgow Library. He also endowed a scholarship fund administered by Le Club Calumet Educational Foundation, assisting high school seniors in Augusta and neighboring communities to pursue their postsecondary education.
In recognition of Fuller’s decades-long contributions to enhancing the quality of life for Augusta’s citizens, the City Council has resolved to rename the athletic field complex “Fuller Field.” Mayor Dave Rollins said “It’s hard to express our depth of gratitude to Bob for what he has done for and continues to do for our City. Bob appreciates that youth athletics are a vital element in the development of our children. Ensuring that they have facilities that encourage that growth and that they can be proud of is about as good a gift as someone can make. I speak for the entire community when I say ‘Thank you Bob Fuller - Augusta is a better place because of you.”
Fuller Field’s improvements will include a new artificial turf playing field, bleacher upgrades, and related ancillary improvements as well as a new track and field events area in the region of a former abutting tennis courts site (as events like javelin, discus, and shot-put are incompatible with an artificial turf surface). The City already has about $400,000 in funds on reserve for this project and $300,000 in community pledges that were committed through an earlier fund drive. The project is now expected to go out to bid within the next two months and construction should be underway soon thereafter. Artificial turf will allow for a significantly expanded playing season for the complex.
Asked what motivated him to make his gift, Fuller said, “I believe that when a high school has a continuing history of athletic success, it fosters a sense of community pride. It rubs off. When this pride is evident it becomes easier to attract people who’ll add value – doctors, teachers, artists, entrepreneurs – and who’ll choose to stay around. Not only because Augusta has the superior facilities and services they demand but it’s also where a visitor can detect that its citizens are upbeat and enjoy living where they are. You can’t have successful teams these days without the infrastructure you need to support them. So I don’t think of my action as simply a gift but rather as an investment in Augusta’s future.“
Questions should be directed to City Manager Bill Bridgeo at 207-626-2300.