JC scores turf fields


Cole Alban

The administration uses this board to track funds raised for the construction of the turf field. Each sticker represents 250 dollars raised.

Within the past two months, JC has commenced fundraising for a $1.3 million project. By October, the school plans to have two turf fields with new fencing, lighting, and scoreboards.

A master facilities plan for JC was called in 2009 to renovate the campus. In the summer of 2012, the restrooms and lobby area were renovated. This year’s project includes installing air conditioning in the cafeteria and the auditorium as well as building the turf fields.

“It does affect our enrollment. We have to update the school to reflect who we are,” Principal Madelyn Ball said.

With the donations, fundraising met the deadline of raising $500,000 in April. The faculty working with the project expects to fundraise $1 million by June 1 and $1.3 million by Sept. 1.

“We are reaching out to alumni, sports, parents, corporations, and foundations. If we could get them to commit to this, it would help us immensely,” Vice President of Institutional Advancement Kurt Sudbrink said.

“They have already raised a lot of money for the turf field. They just need to keep contacting more alumni,” freshman Dominic Huskins said.

Others oppose the idea of spending over $1 million on athletics.

On a survey conducted by The Patriot on April 23, a student commented, “turf fields may attract students to JC, but these student will only be coming for athletics. Money should be used for more important things such as academics and maintenance.”

The stadium field is going to be 380 feet long and 210 feet wide, and the adjacent women’s varsity field will be 360 feet long and 210 feet wide. The fields will enable five different co-ed sports to play on them, including football, lacrosse, soccer, and field hockey.

“We are working with a civil engineering firm that has done a lot of design already for other high schools,” Director of Facilities Stewart Walker said.

Both fields are being designed at the same time, and construction is estimated to take 90 days.“It was a huge savings for us to do two fields at the same time,” Sudbrink said.

“When you do construction, there are all kinds of costs associated with bringing the equipment to work on the field. That is the cost that won’t change if it is one or two fields. It can add up to savings of a couple thousand dollars,” Financial Director Kathy Cullen said.

Along with the savings, having two turf fields is predicted to improve the safety of the athletes.

“There is more cushion on the turf fields. It saves the athletes’ knees, ankles, and shins,” Athletic Trainer Erik Fabriziani said.

Sophomore JV lacrosse player Hailey Siemek sees the turf fields as an improvement and think “that it will be easier because we will be able to play in the rain and not have to travel to Tucker Field.”

“It is critical that we move forward with turf fields,” Ball said.

According to President Rick O’Hara, JC is one of the only private schools around that doesn’t have a turf field.

Varsity football player junior Ndifreke Oduok believes “people are going to be excited to see the field and to come to see teams play on it.”

Erica Kelble is a Multimedia Editor for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.