Athletic fields

Neshaminy plans major upgrades to high school athletic fields

Neshaminy High School athletes and their opponents will have a level playing field — literally — in the spring of 2023, when $13 million in renovations to the school’s outdoor facilities are set to be completed.

Middletown Township supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday night to approve the preliminary and final land development proposal for the long-awaited multi-field and stadium project.

This is the second time this month that supervisors have approved a Neshaminy construction project. On February 7, they approved the construction of a new $35 million elementary school on the grounds of Maple Point Middle School.

Deputy Superintendent Paul Meehan told supervisors that the field improvements were “a much-needed high school project. The fields, in some cases, haven’t been touched for 60 years.”

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In a video presentation, Lisa Pennington, the high school’s athletic director, said she and other staff “face many challenges” in planning games and events when grass fields get muddy after rain or snowstorms. The grounds are used for sports teams, cheerleading teams and the band for games, practices and performances, she said.

District athletes cannot perform at their best when their training grounds are in poor condition and some visiting teams have been unwilling to play there, officials said.

The district plans to replace grass pitches with durable, low-maintenance artificial turf that can be used in all seasons, so games can be played when the weather clears up, not when muddy pitches dry out.

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In a phone interview, school board member Steven Pirritano described the improvements, which will include the installation of new turf for the high school’s Harry E. Franks Stadium where football, soccer and field hockey can be played. played, as well as for baseball and softball fields. and the football training ground which, for the first time, will also have bleachers for spectators to sit on.

The high school tennis courts will increase from six to eight.

The stadium complex will have “a whole new playing field” with new ticket offices, concession stands and home and away lockers as well as new toilets for the public.

It will also have a new press box, which one official said was “falling apart”.

Supervisor Dawn Quirple asked about the drainage of the artificial turf pitches. The district plans to have an underground system for stormwater storage, officials said.

Unlike the new school which will most likely be funded through a bond issue, the high school athletic field renovations will be funded through the district’s construction reserve fund, Pirritano said.

Supervisor Anna Payne, a graduate of Neshaminy High School, was happy with the plan. “I’m thrilled with what this brings to our community,” she said.

To contact Peg Quann, email mquann@couriertimes.com.


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