Sports action slated for September opening
By Michael Turton
Work is progressing “right on schedule” on the new playing field at the Haldane campus, according to Haldane School Board Trustee Jon Champlin. “I was a bit worried that it would be a mess down there after all the rain last night, but they’re out there working again today,” he said. If work continues on schedule, Champlin said that Director of Athletics Tom Cunningham hopes that Haldane’s boys’ and girls’ soccer teams will play home games on the new, artificial turf field during the first week of September. Varsity football would begin one week later.
The new field is part of a $2 million project approved by voters by more than a two-to-one margin in a May referendum. The project also includes new lockers and improvements to the auditorium.
There is no trace of the old football field remaining as workers continue to use heavy equipment to excavate and reshape the field’s surface. Champlin said that drainage is now being completed, with the major cross-field pipe already installed, “and many more to follow.” Three retaining walls are also nearing completion. One, located in the southeast corner of the field, was built to help maximize the size of the field and to help incorporate the running track which will encircle the field. A berm has also been created in the southeast corner which will become a grassy area for spectators.
Champlin said he was pleasantly surprised at the start of the project when the initial layer of soil was removed from the old field. “The soil was better than we thought,” he said. Because the soil was not as rocky as some feared, much of it can be reused on the project.
“Knock on wood…we haven’t run into any unexpected problems,” Champlin said. By late August, he said crews should be ready to lay down the new turf. He indicated that the new locker project is also on schedule and will be complete by the time school reopens. Improvements to the auditorium began several months ago.
Champlin, who co-chaired the Play Haldane campaign that has raised more than $100,000 towards the project, said that people can still purchase commemorative bricks which will be installed close to the field. Two sizes are available: 4-by-8-inch bricks cost $125 and 8-by-8-inch bricks go for $175. The permanent, personalized bricks will be engraved and can be used to honor a family member, show support for Haldane, or memorialize a coach, teacher or team.