Under the plan, the schools system would renovate them using money from an anonymous $10 million donation set for building a new downtown football stadium and sports complex, according to Baughman.
The schools system would still build a smaller sports complex west of Waller Street if the city sells the two stadiums.
“This enables us to restore a historic piece of property that the city doesn't have the wherewithal to do,” Baughman said.
Spartan Stadium was the home of the Portsmouth Spartans, who later became the NFL's Detroit Lions. The stadium is believed to have been the scene of the NFL's first night game.
Portsmouth High School and Notre Dame High School now use the stadium.
Baughman said Notre Dame would be given all considerations when councilman Jerrold Albrecht asked if the school could still use the stadium.
City Service Director Chris Murphy is responsible for the upkeep of the two stadiums. He was livid when Baughman made the announcement, and immediately asked to address the council.
“I'm sort of in shock to hear this,” Murphy said. “It's bad enough I heard on the radio on a Friday night that the school system wanted to build a new stadium. Now I'm getting backdoored by my own City Council by selling what I manage.”
He said he was concerned about the stadium's historic value.
“I don't like to see it turned over to just anybody,” Murphy said.
Engineering director Bill Beaumont urged Baughman to make sure all the terms of the potential agreement are in writing.
City Council will give the proposal a first reading at it Dec. 26 meeting. It also could pass the measure then.
Councilmen Bob Mollette and David Malone voted against preparing the legislation because they wanted time to get more information about it.
Vice President Marty Mohr said he was “flabbergasted and excited” about the plan.
“This would give us a ball park that is second-to-none not only in Portsmouth, but statewide,” he said. “And we'll be preserving a historic building. I'm almost out of words.”
Mohr said the plan would allow the city to keep land near Portsmouth High School for retail development. However, Mayor Jim Kalb quickly corrected him and told him of the plans for the smaller complex in addition to renovating the stadiums.
Councilman Mike Mearan said the issue came up after a conversation with attorney Clayton Johnson. Mearan said Johnson is in charge of the $10 million donation.
Mearan then called Baughman, who met with schools superintendent Jan Broughton on Monday.
In other business, City Council passed an ordinance accepting a donation of $18,425.80 from the Portsmouth Eagles to be divided evenly between the police and fire departments.
City Council gave a second reading to an ordinance authorizing Kalb to enter into a contract for the disposal of 60,000 gallons of sludge biannually for the village of South Webster at a rate of 8 cents per gallon. The rate would be 10 cents per gallon in excess of 60,000. The agreement would be from Jan. 1, 2007 to Dec. 31, 2009.
Because the next scheduled meeting falls on Christmas, City Council will meet a day later at 6 p.m.
First reading was given to ordinances: