Early morning soccer practices on wet, dewy grass will be a thing of the past now that the new Turf Athletic Complex is open, said senior soccer player Bayley Duffy.
Flanked by hundreds of her fellow student-athletes, Duffy helped cut the blue and gold ribbons at a ceremony the morning of Monday, Aug. 21 at the new synthetic turf field at Queensbury Union Free School District.
“It’s very exciting,” Bayley said.
The outdoor facility features a multi-purpose, synthetic turf field lined for football, soccer, lacrosse and field hockey, as well as 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 back in December 2021. The district broke ground on the new turf athletic complex on March 1, 2023.
“I can’t wait to see the contests you will play and the memories you will make on this new turf field,” Superintendent Kyle Gannon told the students. “I look forward to seeing our physical education classes filling this athletic complex during the school day. I hope all of you enjoy this beautiful facility.”
The turf field will better support athletic and physical education programs at Queensbury UFSD. 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.
“This is an unbelievable complex,” said Tim Weaver, the vice president of the Board of Education. “What’s great about it is, every male and female athlete will be able to compete on it.”
Teams started practicing on the field Monday — the first day of fall sports — immediately after the ribbon cutting. This year, Queensbury UFSD will host the Section 2 boys soccer championship games, the field hockey championship games and girls regional lacrosse in the spring.
“Along with all of our home contests, we hope to bring people into the community, participating here on campus, eating and drinking in our restaurants, staying in our hotels and supporting our local businesses,” said Richard Keys, the director of athletics, physical education and health.
Junior football player Zavry Ward said he has always wished to be able to play under the lights on a turf field.
“We don’t have to wish anymore,” Zavry said. “It’s our reality now.”