With golden shovels in hand, members of the Queensbury school community broke ground on the new outdoor athletic complex Wednesday morning.
The new turf field will better support athletic and physical education programs. The outdoor facility will feature a multi-purpose, synthetic turf field lined for football, soccer, lacrosse, and field hockey, as well as synthetic turf fields for both baseball and softball.
Queensbury UFSD residents voted to approve the turf field as part of a $19.75 million capital improvement project proposal in December 2021.
The project has been in the planning stages for three years, said Athletic Director Rich Keys.
The facility will provide a safe and consistent playing surface throughout spring, summer and fall. Physical education classes will be able to use the facility longer in the fall and earlier in the spring. The lights will extend playing capabilities as well, he said.
“We’ll no longer need to play games at away sites when playing conditions are questionable,” Keys said. “Our students will also have the opportunity to practice and play games more regularly on the type of surface that will be used during most of the postseason and reduce travel to away training locations.”
The complex will help to better prepare student athletes for sectional, regional and state-level play, he added.
“We’ll now have the ability to play any outdoor sport we have at Queensbury at this new facility,” Keys said.
The board of education and six student athletes helped break the ground Wednesday after the Queensbury Pep Band played “Don’t Stop Believin’” and the QHS Madrigals sang the school’s alma mater.
Dan Mannix, president of the board of education, said it is the board’s duty to provide the necessary tools to achieve excellence at the school district with outstanding educators, academic rigor and state-of-the-art facilities.
“We couldn’t be more excited to commence this part of the drive for excellence to modernize our facilities for the athletic community and the Queensbury community,” Mannix said.
Tim Weaver has spent 18 of his 19 years on the board of education asking for a turf field, he said.
“It’s going to be great for all our fall and spring sport athletes, male and female,” Weaver said. “Every sport’s going to be able to participate on it, which is very unique. You don’t see that a lot.”
Architect Greg Klokiw from CSARCH said the installation of the new facility will impact the athletic program from top to bottom.
“Everybody will be able to utilize this, including the community use,” he said, “so really it’s going to be a fantastic facility.”
The turf field should be ready for sports this fall.
Superintendent Kyle Gannon thanked everyone involved in the project.
“It sends chills down my arms as I envision an athletic contest out here under the lights with parents and community members everywhere,” Gannon said. “Go Q!”