WORCESTER >> Methacton High School is now projecting that the auxiliary turf field could be ready as soon as early next week and the stadium turf field sometime in the beginning of October.
Construction on the new fields officially began in March 2014 with a target date of Aug. 17, 2015 for completion. Early in the process, Methacton knew it was a long-shot to reach that goal.
“Pretty early last spring we were very certain that there would be some type of delay — what type of delay we weren’t sure,” Athletic Director Paul Spiewak said. “As we got closer and closer to the summer it was pretty evident that there would be a portion of the fall season that would have to utilize contingency plans until the fields were ready.
“It’s something that has happened to the majority of construction projects I’ve been aware of around the area regarding turf. There is usually some type of a delay. The way I see it is if our fall sports teams are able to get on both fields before the end of the fall season I think it’s a job well done by all parties involved. I think we all understood a delay was possible and in some cases highly likely.”
The football team, which will call the stadium turf field home this fall, had to move two of its games early in the season to a new location. The Sept. 5 game against Norristown has been moved to Sept. 4 at Phoenixville High School. The Sept. 19 game against Phoenixville was moved to Sept. 18 at Phoenixville.
The football team has had to do things like this in the past, head coach Paul Lepre said. When Methacton’s field was unplayable due to weather, it played home games at Phoenixville and a game against Pope John Paul II at Upper Perkiomen High School.
“I don’t think this is going to be an issue at all,” Lepre said. “We told the kids over a month ago that here is what September is going to look like — let’s deal with it and get ready for it. We didn’t know for sure where we were going to practice until last Monday. We didn’t know that (the practice) field was going to be ready — I said (to the kids) be prepared to travel every day for practice. So whatever comes our way we have to deal with and understand that this is what we have to do. And they’ve taken to that well.”
The football team hopes to debut the new field on Saturday Oct. 3 against Spring-Ford at 2 p.m.
Spiewak made it clear that Methacton was very thankful for Phoenixville letting them use its facilities during the construction process.
“They didn’t have to do what they’re doing for us,” he said. “Phoenixville supported us in the spring as well. We played several turf games at their place last spring and they continue to support us during the construction. In that sense, we’re really lucky to have their support.”
The auxiliary turf field will be used by most of the Methacton teams, including football, boys and girls soccer, field hockey and the marching band.
“Our hope still remains sometime early next week,” Spiewak said of the auxiliary field. “But certainly it could go either way with exactly when the field gets turned over to athletics. There are still a lot of things outside of the playing surface that still need to be deemed safe for our kids to get on and off the field.”
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