Shenendehowa opens new turf fields

Members of the Shenendehowa boys' and girls' soccer programs clap during a press conference announcing the completed new multi-purpose turf field behind Koda Middle School on the Shenendehowa campus in Clifton Park Monday, Sept. 12, 2022.
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Members of the Shenendehowa boys' and girls' soccer programs clap during a press conference announcing the completed new multi-purpose turf field behind Koda Middle School on the Shenendehowa campus in Clifton Park Monday, Sept. 12, 2022.

CLIFTON PARK The Shenendehowa Central School District recently opened its new multi-purpose turf fields, which were completed as part of the district’s $26.5 million capital project.

The district held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new fields Monday afternoon. Officials from the school, the board of education, the town of Clifton Park and the state were joined on the new fields by about 50 student athletes.

“What we have for you right now is not only an athletic field, but it’s a revolutionary physical education station for every middle school student that comes through Shenendehowa,” athletic director Christopher Culnan said.

The new fields are located behind Koda Middle School. The fields are lined for lacrosse, soccer and field hockey.

The new turf fields come as part of the district’s $26.5 million capital project. The project was approved by voters in May 2021 and was designed to address needed repairs and strategic enhancements. The project includes replacing water pipes and boilers, expanding air conditioning, upgrades to electricity, upgrading science rooms, adding an additional art room, refurbishing the tennis courts, replacing the track and turf at Brent T. Steuerwald Stadium and more.

This year the district expects to complete the first phase of the capital project. The third and final phase of the project is expected to be completed in the summer of 2024.

The fields are “top-of-the-line,” Shenendehowa superintendent L. Oliver Robinson said. Robinson told the crowd he had spoken with the workers when they were almost done finishing up the new fields, the workers told him how after they finished the new fields behind Koda Middle School they would be going to do the same work to the Pittsburgh Steelers field.

“We’re trying to do inspirational things in pursuit of aspirational goals,” Robinson said. “And what that means for our young people, at the end of the day if you can think it you can do it, you just have to put the work in. That goes for sports, if you want to be the best, put the work in.”

Robinson called for the sports team captains to join him in cutting the ribbon.

The new fields will be able to be utilized for Shen’s middle school physical education program as well as by the athletics department and eventually by community groups, Culnan explained.

“Right now we’re focusing on the physical education side of it and the interscholastic side until we get an understanding of how that is going to work,” Culnan said. “And then we’ll start adding the community use into it.”

The fees associated with community use of the new fields will likely be similar to the facility use fees associated with using other fields. For the regular athletic fields there is a use fee of $15 per hour for Shenendehowa community-based groups.

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