Thursday, August 15, 2019

Spartans Excited to Start 2019 Season with New Turf Field, Sports Medicine Provider

The North Schuylkill Spartans are ready to start their 2019 season with their new turf field and Sports Medicine Provider.

On Wednesday, the North Schuylkill School District held a press conference to unveil their new synthetic turf field at Ghosh Orthodontics Field at Spartan Stadium.

The 1,119,337.92 project began in early June after the previous field needed to be rehabilitated due to damage done to the ground from heavy rains and normal wear and tear.

FieldTurf USA Inc. worked through the summer to replace the current field surface with a synthetic turf.  The patented field is the same type of turf that NFL players played on during the 2019 Super Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia.

Members of the media were invited to Wednesday's press conference,  where School Board President Chaz Hepler, along with other board members, school administration, and Fall Sports teams showed off the new field.

Hepler opened the press conference by thanking Dr. Sam Ghosh and his partnership and commitment to the school district for the last 9 years.  Ghosh had donated $10,000 to the school district and Spartan Stadium each year since the partnership began.

It was through the donations from Ghosh that the district "nursed" the previous field up until last fall when the field was in the same conditions as 9 years ago.

"It was time for us to find a solution that was a cost savings in the long run, but gave our kids the best, safest surface that we could provide for them" said Hepler.

"It was through our research, late nights, discussions as a board and administration, that we were able to come to a conclusion and get the numbers together that through Dr. Ghosh's partnership, we could see this happening.  We thank you Dr. Ghosh for stepping up so many years ago and letting us get some kind of vision for our kids." added Hepler.

Hepler also talked about the district's new sports medicine provider, St. Luke's Health Network.

"With St. Luke's, our training staff was able to stay intact, with an additional trainer, there are now educational programs available for our coaches and players, as well for the first time, our athletes were not charged for their physicals" said Hepler.

Hepler also recognized Mark Ketch, senior vice president and commercial loan manager for Mid Penn Bank. Ketch has been assisting the district with the financing of the project.

Hepler also touched on the cost of the project for the district.

"After all of these pieces came together, including cost savings, the district has a final cost $290,000 to pay for the project".

Hepler noted that due to the new field, the district found a huge cost saving on daily field maintenance for the 56 events that will take place at Spartan Stadium.

"We won't need maintenance here everyday repairing the field surface or mowing the grass", said Hepler.

Hepler turned to the athletes and students behind him and stated "The reason we did this is because these guys benefit".

Afterwards, Hepler spoke directly with press and noted that the new turf field will also allow gym classes to use the field, which was never allowed before in fear of damaging the field.

"Now the field can be used by the entire district, whenever it's needed".  Hepler also added that they were looking into holding additional events at the field, including a yearly game between the Ashland and Frackville Youth Football teams as well as County and Schuylkill League meets.

Practices began this week on the field for band, soccer, and football teams with the first event scheduled for this Saturday when the Varsity Football team faces Danville in a scrimmage.

An official ribbon cutting for the field will take place next Thursday, August 22nd, 2019 during "Meeting the Spartans" night that will began at 7:00pm.

Story and Photos by J. Reed






























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