Despite the incessant rains of the 2011 spring, the new track at St. Catharine College is still “on track” for completion by the start of the fall semester in August. And along with the track and its many amenities, there will be a refurbished soccer field, six tennis courts and lights all around to provide for night events.
“Our timetable when we started was to get grass planted on the soccer field by the end of May,” said St. Catharine athletic director Mike Doig. “And right now it looks like we will be able to do that.”
Meeting that deadline has not come without challenges for the project that Doig said will approach $1 million upon completion. “When you talk about the different venues of track, soccer and tennis there is so much to consider,” added the athletic director. “In addition to the subgrades established for each facility, you also have to include sewer, electrical, irrigation, drainage and parking areas. And there was a lot of rock that had to be blasted before any dirt was moved. In addition, Goodlett Drive was re-routed to provide a new entrance to all of the athletic fields.”
Even before that, Doig added, there was considerable excavation that took place in order to provide the aesthetics of the entire athletic complex that will be developed on different levels.
“We couldn’t do what we are doing without the generosity of many people who believe in St. Catharine and our athletic programs,” said St. Catharine president William Huston. “There will be two naming opportunities presented later for the track and tennis facilities which will tell the story of a couple major gifts. And, of course, we will retain the name of the Barber Soccer Complex. We will also have at least 250 new parking spaces available when the project is completed.”
The soccer field will have Bermuda grass and the track encircling it will be eight lanes with a rubberized surface. Lights will illuminate the track and soccer field as well as the tennis courts, but will probably not be added until the following spring.
And according to Doig, lighting is not the only additional item on the drawing board. Plans are also underway for a multi-sport indoor facility that will allow the outdoor sports to practice and train year-round. “The plans are for a large open space of 150 feet by 200 feet,” Doig said. “That will allow room for baseball and softball to hold drills as well as for soccer to practice.” Doig added that the proposed building would include locker rooms and a reception area as well as coaches’ offices.
But for now the emphasis is on completion of the new outdoor athletic venues by the time student/athletes arrive for the fall semester. “We will be playing soccer on that field in August as well as running on the new track,” concluded President Huston.