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St. Benedict renovating football field, facilities

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St. Benedict at Auburndale High School has announced the resurfacing of its football field. The resurfacing is the first phase of a three-phase renovation plan to the entire football facility.

In announcing the large scale project, SBA Athletic Director Caleb Marcum said, “The decision to resurface was based on the needs of a legitimate practice place for not only St. Benedict teams, but also St. Francis Middle School teams.”

“The previous practice space has been a 50- by- 50-yard area near the tennis courts and a section of property under the TVA power lines,” he noted. “These two practice areas are now insufficient.”
Another concern was the amount of use the field receives each year, he said. Last year alone, St. Benedict fielded three football teams and a lacrosse team. While St. Francis Middle School fielded two football teams.

“On average, we have hosted 25- to- 30 football games in the fall and 15- to- 20 lacrosse games in the spring, thus, causing damage to the natural sod,” he said.

St. Benedict awarded the turf installation bid to Hellas Construction of Austin, Texas. Matrix Turf is supplying a monofilament artificial surface with a sand and black rubber infill. The field has a life expectancy of at least 17 years without year-to-year maintenance expense that a natural field has.

Artificial turf installed on the football field will allow both SBA and St. Francis teams to practice on a regulation size field without damage to the surface.

“Research has proven that artificial turf fields are safe and can serve as a viable alternate for a natural grass football field,” Marcum said. “St. Benedict will also benefit by using the old practice fields as new parking areas in the future. Artificial turf will also allow the school to better serve the community by hosting camps and community events for all ages.”

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The renovation of the football field should conclude near Aug. 15. In addition to artificial turf, SBA has designed a master plan for our three phase renovation.

The first phase not only includes artificial turf, but the renovation of Tully Field House to include renovated locker rooms, public restrooms, offices, a training room and an equipment room.

Phase 2 of the master plan is the building of a new indoor facility, which will consist of a 50 yard turf field, a state of the art weight room, locker rooms, offices and training rooms. It will also consist of a new athletic entrance, parking areas and the expansion of our home stadium seating to 2,300.

Phase 3 consists of a state of the art alumni center, concessions, public restrooms and ticket booths.

“We are extremely excited about the future of our athletic facilities,” SBA Principal Sondra Morris said. “When we built Tully Fieldhouse and enlarged our stadium in the early 90s, we had a state of the art facility. These facilities have served us well, but with our school expanding to upwards of 1,000 students, our football facilities needed these renovations.

“We are indebted to the donors who brought us Tully and helped us grow and we are grateful to all those making this new phase in our history happen,” she concluded.

New SBA Head Football Coach Scott Samsel said he is looking forward to opening day with a superior turf facility.

“SBA indicated that they were looking to enhance our facilities and we’re excited about the beginning of three-phase project,” he said.