Saint Stephen's Episcopal School's construction of the Moore Athletic Complex at Turner Fields is finally under way and should be completed this fall.
The Moore Athletic Complex at Turner Fields, the second step in the school's master plan, will feature an artificial, in-filled turf field for football, soccer and lacrosse surrounded by a rubberized track and softball and baseball fields made of clay and natural grass. It will also house new training facilities, locker rooms, bathrooms and a concessions stand.
Head of School Jan Pullen said she was thrilled the school had been given this exciting new opportunity.
"We've always wanted to improve our athletic fields, but we have also been sensitive because of the economy," Pullen said. "With the opportunity the school was given to receive a $2 million match, we decided now was the time to improve the athletic facilities."
Athletic Director Carlos Boothby said it is a monumental change in the
"It's really exciting to be a part of (this), especially since I went to school here," Boothby said. "When I got here, the fields looked a lot like the way they look now that they are under construction; just doing a slide tackle was dangerous. But what we're doing now -- we'll have one of the best fields and athletic complexes in the state. I think everyone will really be impressed,"
Pullen said it was bittersweet to let go of memories made on the old fields but it is exciting to witness such huge progress.
"In some ways it's kind of sad to see everything go," Pullen said. "We've cleared the grounds, cut down the trees and torn down the houses and the concession stands, and on the next few weeks the bulldozers will start coming out. But it's all in the name of progress."
Boothby said the new athletic complex would help level the playing field between athletics and academics at Saint Stephen's.
"We talk about being world class, and obviously we're there when it comes to academics, but now we'll be on the same level with athletics as well," he said.
Varsity boys' soccer Coach Marc Jones said he was proud to have witnessed incredible growth at Saint Stephen's since he began coaching in 1994.
"With our state-of-the-art new athletic stadium under way, I am delighted that our athletic facilities will finally match the quality of our academic buildings," Jones said.
"This project sends the message that Saint Stephen's is determined to provide a world class education, not just in the classroom, but in athletics as well."
Varsity lacrosse Coach Scott Kallins said his staff can't wait to experience lacrosse in the new stadium.
"The lacrosse team is ready to again advance a winning campaign on the new field and establish the sport as a rallying opportunity for the school as a whole," Kallins said. "Lacrosse has it all; speed, athleticism and high-scoring excitement, all soon to be experienced on campus in a state-of-the-art facility."
Varsity cross country Coach Anna Conn said the new track will help her team measure its speed more accurately.
"For cross country, it means that we will be able to host a meet for the first time in school history," Conn said. "It also means that when we do our speed workouts we will have exact measurements on each interval instead of an estimation on the grass. (It's) really exciting."
Varsity football Coach Tod Creneti said the football program will benefit tremendously from the new complex.
"I might have more to gain than anybody else," Creneti said. "For the first time we'll be hosting night games at home under the lights; that's something we've never done before. It's like we're starting a new tradition, something we can continue with moving forward."