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Greencastle sports set to go despite stadium work

August 18, 2011|By ROXANN MILLER | roxann.miller@herald-mail.com
  • Work on Greencastle-Antrim's $2.5 million stadium project is two weeks behind schedule, but school officials said the Blue Devils' first home football game against New Oxford on Sept. 9 should go on without a hitch.
Roxann Miller, Staff Writer

GREENCASTLE, Pa. — Work on Greencastle-Antrim's $2.5 million stadium project is two weeks behind schedule, but school officials said the Blue Devils' first home football game against New Oxford on Sept. 9 should go on without a hitch.

With the first home soccer game on Sept. 3, crews are working into the evening to ensure that the G-A soccer team can play on the new artificial turf-covered Kaley Field, district officials said.

Greencastle-Antrim Superintendent C. Gregory Hoover said workers found a problem when they attempted to resurface the six-lane track.

He said they determined that the old track wasn't stable enough to salvage, so now they are replacing the entire track.

Hoover said the project is still at or below budget. The project includes new artificial turf fields at Kaley Field and the North Field next to the stadium, the new track and lighting upgrades.

"The material that we are using is a grade that is slightly less than what we had on the original track," Hoover said.

"But it is better for our track because the original track did not allow for water runoff and caused the old track to bubble," Hoover said. "This new track is porous and allows water to go up and down and prevents bubbling."

He said it's the same track that the Chambersburg Area Senior High School installed, and should last longer.

"We're pleased with how this has all worked out. We weren't expecting this to work out this way, but we're getting a brand new track and it's better for the conditions here at our facilities," Hoover said.

Greencastle's construction manager Kevin Weller said despite the change in direction for the 10-year old track, the project is at or under budget.

Worldwide Turf of Pittsburgh is installing the new artificial turf field and Precision Sports of New Jersey is installing the track, according to Weller.

By the end of this week, Kaley Field should be almost complete and then work begins on the track.

Kaley Field must be covered while the track is under construction.

Vicki Ritchey, Greencastle-Antrim High School's athletic director, said the only athletic venues affected by the delay are fall sports practices and several football and soccer scrimmages.

"We used (Kaley Field) for scrimmages for soccer and football, but we never used it for practices for soccer and football so it really isn't creating a huge issue for us not to have it for this week and next week, because we never had it before," Ritchey said.

Ritchey said the fall athletes have fallen in love with the artificial turf.

"One of my middle school football coaches said to me, 'We didn't lose anybody in any big gofer holes. It was great (to play on).' "And the kids were so excited to practice on it — they really love it," Ritchey said.

Even though the field hockey goals weren't delivered, Richey said practice began as planned last Monday.

"The field hockey coach said, 'They (players) aren't going to care. We will work with whatever we have to. The kids are so excited just to be on the field you could put a bucket out there (as the goal) and they'd be happy'," Ritchey said.

Ritchey said the falls sports program would proceed with its upcoming scrimmage schedule on the new artificial turf on North Field:

  • Junior varsity and varsity football scrimmage Aug. 20
  • Freshman football scrimmage: Aug. 23
  • Soccer scrimmage: Aug. 27

Since the bleachers aren't accessible, Ritchey encouraged scrimmage spectators to bring chairs.

"We can't wait for Kaley Field to be done — and it to be a completed project — but everybody knows it's going to happen. It's a little bit behind, but we can be patient because we know in the end that we're going to have a fantastic result," Ritchey said.

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