By Ian C. Beck ’12
Several dozen workers laid down sod Oct. 5 for Brophy’s new sports campus that has been a long time coming.
Crews toiled away with heavy machinery, installing massive rolls of grass and laying down limestone for the track.
When Brophy President Fr. Eddie Reese, SJ, arrived at Brophy 14 years ago, he interviewed 1,000 alumni, current students, faculty and parents about what the school needed. Some of the answers he said he came up with were: technology, fine arts, math and science and better sport facilities.
The sports campus, located just north of Xavier along 7th Street, is the last project Fr. Reese is going to tackle from this list.
“We’ve taken care of the mind and the arts and now it’s time for the body,” said Brophy Vice President Ms. Adria Renke.
Soccer, football and lacrosse teams will play their games on a field of artificial turf similar to what many NFL teams use, called Field Turf. There will also be an all-weather track and several natural grass practice fields.
There will be a team room, concession stands and a maintenance building along with a set of 800 person bleachers.
“Those two playing fields will revolutionize the way we do sports here,” Ms. Renke said.
There was $5.2 million set aside for this project, raised through power breakfasts and other fundraisers over the last four years. There are still other sections of the project that have yet to be funded, including an Olympic-sized swimming pool, a weight room and a gym large enough for volleyball, basketball and wrestling.
Even though those additional phases of the sports campus may not be completed for several years. The first phase will be available for teams by December.
“Our biggest problem has just been our time limitation on the Central track,” said head track coach Mr. Bill Kalkman. Limestone for the track was laid down Oct. 5, the first stage in the construction of a high-quality track.
“Coaches and athletes alike are excited to have their own track,” Mr. Kalkman said.
Junior varsity football wide receiver Jordan Melick ’12 said the “excitement level is pretty high” among the JV football players.
“Father (Reese) and I would never, never, never have been able to do this by ourselves,” Ms. Renke said. Volunteer work on this project “saved us millions of dollars” and made it all possible, she added.
The additional field space will also allow more Brophy teams to practice and compete on campus, something administrators said they hope will be a boon for those programs.
“Lacrosse and track numbers-wise are our second and third largest sports on campus yet not a lot of people know about them because they’re never on campus,” said Assistant Principal for Student Activities Mr. Jeff Glosser.
“The ability to be on campus should get them more recognizable with their peers and their ability to be a student athlete should improve,” Mr. Glosser said.