When Rich Avery, Lynn director of facilities at Manning Field, discovered incidents of vandalism inside the women’s and men’s restrooms at Manning Field two weeks ago, he developed a plan to prevent those incidents from happening again.
Because the incidents occurred during a high school football game and youth football games, Avery reached out to Supt. of Schools Dr. Patrick Tutwiler, principals and athletic directors at the Lynn high schools, and the presidents of the Lynn youth football organizations to address the issue.
“I’m happy to report that there was no damage this weekend, but we were pro-active about it,” said Avery. “Dr. Tutwiler was very quick in responding and taking action.”
Avery said the vandalism first came to his attention following football games played on the weekend of Sept. 24-26 at Manning Field.
“Someone had damaged every toilet roll dispenser in the men’s restroom, every soap dispenser in the women’s restroom, as well as six toilets in the women’s restroom,” said Avery, who estimated that there was $5,000 in damages done at the facility.
The incidents may have been the result of a TikTok “challenge,” according to Avery. TikTok is a video-sharing, networking service.
Avery said he asked for an increased police presence at Manning Field during games. There were public safety personnel stationed outside the restroom facilities at the most recent football games, and no incidents of vandalism were reported.
Under Avery’s leadership, Manning Field, a first-class, professionally run athletic facility, has become one of the busiest venues in the region, hosting both regular season and playoff games in multiple fall and spring sports.