Turf’s up in Hyde Park!

F.D.R. High School’s new turf athletic field will be officially unveiled Sept. 27 right before the homecoming football game.

The festivities will kick off at 5pm with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, followed by an opening ceremony and finally the game at 7pm.

The $4.8 million project, which started in March, will also be home to the Presidents’ soccer, lacrosse, and track and field teams.

The project has gone smoothly, according to Wayne Kurlander, the school district’s assistant superintendent for business. “No games have had to be rescheduled. We are on time. However, there is a Plan B in place just in case,” he told The Observer. That “Plan B” would entail away-games for all the sports teams that would use the field until it is completed.

The new field also boasts a new press box, score board, eight-lane 400 meter track, bleachers, retention pond, and lights.

The facility isn’t completely finished, however.

The school opted to wait on the spring sports portions of the facility. “The throwing areas are not 100 percent complete, but will not be needed until spring for track and field,” Kurlander said.

“The spring events are a matter of getting the sod in, and that is going to be completed in October,” he added.

The new field and track will be up to state standards, which would allow the district to hold state championship games and meets. The previous cinder track was so out-of-date that F.D.R. wasn’t allowed to have home meets.

“We are very excited that now we can have home track meets…Now we can have a ‘home’ spectator crowd cheering for us at FDR,” Rebecca Holton, track and field coach, told The Observer.

Kurlander agrees.

“The fields will help to build community, pride, and increased participation in athletics,” he said.

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