Through the generous support of a community-led campaign, the necessary funds have been raised privately to transform the Eagle Stadium playing surface from grass to artificial turf. The field will be named upon completion as ‘Veterans’ Field to honor our military.
The presentation was made to the New Albany-Plain Local Schools Board of Education on Monday, September 24, 2012 by Stuart Burgdoerfer. A campaign spanning four years conducted by a citizen-led group of volunteers secured the necessary funding to make this opportunity possible for the school district. A thorough competitive bidding process has been conducted and the field is expected to cost $600,000.
“Knowing that the district is at a critical time in its history, the focus on academics and the growth of enrollment – we (the committee) knew that this initiative should be 100% privately funded,” said Stuart Burgdoerfer, Turf Committee Chair. “Through the leadership and generosity of many, we were able to accomplish this goal.”
Donations for the Turf project came from community residents and local businesses. Long-time district supporters Ken and Jackie Krebs provided the lead gift of $150,000 and asked the Board of Education to name the field Veterans Field at Eagle Stadium while also ensuring that any veteran receive free admission to New Albany School events.
“We are incredibly grateful for the generosity of the community leaders who have made this possible for the students of New Albany and the community,” said Board President Laura Kohler. “This gift is one that will benefit all students of our district.”
The benefits of moving from grass to artificial turf are many and the effort will result in a cost savings to the district. Benefits include:
- Maintaining a safe and consistent playing surface
- Increased opportunity for use – moving from several events over the course of a year to several events in a given day.
- Opportunities for a number of sports and activities
- Enhanced ability to host additional events and provide space for post-season tournament eligibility.
- Annual costs savings estimated at $20,000 as mowing, fertilization and watering will no longer be required.
Many high schools in the central Ohio area have already installed artificial turf as a playing field surface. Kevin Reed, New Albany High School Athletic Director has consulted with other area districts about this project, including how to maximize the benefits of the field.
The installation of the turf is scheduled to begin in November 2012 and be completed in time for spring activities with an official dedication scheduled for the new Veterans Field in the fall of 2013.
Donors to the project will be recognized at the stadium on a “Wall of Excellence.”