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Athletic facilities to get an upgrade at Canterbury

Published 11:25 am, Wednesday, December 26, 2012
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Athletic facilities at Canterbury School in New Milford could son receive a major upgrade.

The school is expected to present a proposal in January to the town's land-use boards.

The athletic fields at Canterbury cover 41.486 acres between Canterbury Road and Park Lane (Route 202).

Improvements will be proposed to be accomplished in three phases in late spring and during the summer of 2013.

The project would include construction of a six/eight-lane lane, 400-meter synthetic running track and field facility; two multi-purpose synthetic athletic fields, a varsity softball field and supporting improvements.

"As the athletic director at the school, I feel very fortunate and excited to have this happening," said Dave Wilson. "This is a work in progress and funding is still being raised for the project.

"But full funding is expected soon," he added. "We feel we have to do this to stay as competitive as we can be."

Mr. Wilson said the athletic facilities targeted for improvements are out of date. Field hockey and lacrosse fields at most preparatory schools today are synthetic turf.

"We can't even host a guest game at this time with what we have," he said.

The track is gravel with only two lanes, he said, meaning meets can't be held at Canterbury now. The track at New Milford High School is presently being used by Canterbury students.

The softball field now in place has "historically been our worse field," Mr. Wilson added.

"The plan is to get the (synthetic) turf field prep work done this April so the field will be available for field hockey in fall 2013," Mr. Wilson added.

Phase one -- the synthetic turf field is used primarily for field hockey and boys' and girls' lacrosse. It would include paved areas for informal viewing, a players' area, scoreboard and an elevated filming platform.

The varsity softball field would include a players' areas, batting cage and fenced outfield, allowing for an off-season overlap practice area.

Phase two: the combination six-lane distance and eight-lane sprint, 400-meter synthetic competition track would include areas for viewing and an elevated filming platform, scoreboard and one-story storage and maintenance facility.

A multi-purpose synthetic turf field, located inside the oval, would be designed primarily for football and boys' and girls' soccer programs.

The existing cinder run track would be removed.

Phase three -- the driveway access from Canterbury Road would be realigned, including a bus turnaround and adjacent student dropoff/pickup.

Construction of the remaining 101 parking spaces would be in the area of the abandoned tennis courts.

At project completion, there would be 431 parking spaces, with five spaces designated for the handicapped.

Current use of the 41.486 acre parcel includes the athletic center for basketball, squash and Draddy Arena ice rink, the field house, pool and music complex, various natural grass athletic fields, a cinder running track, paved tennis courts (currently not used) and open lawn/field areas.