RIVERSIDE — With hard hats, ribbons and spade shovels, an assembled group of alumni, board members, school officials and students broke ground on Carroll High School’s new $2.1 million artificial playing field and four-lane track, at 11:01 a.m. Feb. 12.
The project kicks off the public phase of Carroll’s Foundation for the Future renovation campaign, which will include improvements to five of the school’s science labs while building two new ones. According to the school’s publication Reflections, funding for the field, the St. John the Evangelist chapel, and a $250,000 endowment have already been completed.
Principal Matt Sableski said the hope is to have the running track and artificial turf completed by the first week of August.
“Carroll High School, for a long time, has had a proud tradition of excellent athletics and academics,” Sableski said. “We’ve always done that in a facility that is a little bit outdated. So for the last five years or so, there’s been a lot of energy for renovation of the stadium, and we’re excited to say that we’re going to break ground on that. And by the fall, our students will be playing on a new turf and an all-weather track.”
According to the school, installation of the new field and running track will be the first major upgrades to Patriot Stadium since 1983 when the current press box was built.
New stadium lights were installed in 2018. The lighting improvements were the initial investment in what is Phase Two of the Foundation for the Future program. The estimated price for the turf, track, lights, science labs, endowment and Carroll Patriot funds combined is $4.5 million.
“There are many phases of this campaign, this is only one of them, but this is certainly the one we’re most excited about today,” Sableski said.
Athletic Director Scott Molfenter was understandably excited about the new athletic facilities.
“This’ll be my 28th year at Carroll, and I’m very very excited to begin here,” he said. “It creates an environment where our kids can always participate. We don’t have to take time off for weather or worry about a rainy Friday night, or a messy week.
“Our long-term goal is to have a facility where we can host playoff events, and bring members of our community in to watch some tournament games. And for our kids, it levels things out a bit. More often than not, we go to other school’s facilities and they’re on turf as well, so it gives our kids a chance to have that and practice on that as well.”
Sableski said anyone wishing to make a donation to the Foundation for the Future program can go to the organization’s website at www.carrollhs.org for more information.
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.