Xavier to add new turf field

Jenae Marshall, News Writer

The generosity of others can make dreams become realities. For Xavier, this dream is to invest in an artificial turf for its athletic programs. Construction to replace the current football field with new artificial turf is most likely to begin in early May. Xavier is working with Shive-Hattery, an architecture and engineering company, to plan the two to three month project.

This project will benefit many programs at the school, such as football, girls’ and boys’ soccer, the marching band, boys’ and girls’ track, fitness and wellness classes, the dance team and other programs in off-season training.

In addition to the turf, the school will be moving the high jump and the long jump from outside the track to inside. The turf field will not be used solely for hosting games, but for practices in inclement weather. This will enhance practices by being able to have ideal conditions year round with proper markings, which has not always been available on a natural grass field.

“Practice field conditions and the amount [the field] was used by all of our programs were areas of concern when I got here,” Xavier Athletic Director Mr. Andy Umthun said. “I am excited we are able to create a great playing area, including enhanced safety as this project does include a shock-absorbing pad underneath, for our outdoor activities that have not always had ideal conditions to work with.”

Umthun expressed that he is excited because this addition will help to prevent future weather-related cancellations or rescheduling due to field conditions. He is also thrilled to see the aesthetically pleasing appearance of the stadium for spectators, visitors and the increased traffic passing by the Xavier campus on Highway 100. On top of all of this, there will be a significant amount of time saved for the school’s buildings and grounds staff.

This project will cost approximately 1.5 million dollars, including the groundwork, turf, pad, goalposts, play clocks, electrical, sideline water, high jump, long jump, new track surface on curves and construction. This dream would not be financially possible without the generous donations from anonymous donors.

“I appreciate our donors who are funding this, although I do not know who they are, they are obviously great supporters of Catholic education,” Xavier head football coach Duane Schulte said. “It is great to know there are people out there who believe in what we are doing.”

This new field will be a change for Xavier athletics that will impact the community for years to come.