Completion of Ridgefield's turf fields back on track

RIDGEFIELD — Student athletes soon will play on their home turf again after a series of delays slowed large-scale improvements at two of the school district’s athletic fields.

A complete track rebuild and turf installation was slated to break ground at Tiger Hollow Stadium following graduation. But because the ceremony and Fourth of July fireworks were held there over the summer, the start date was pushed back.

“Those little things add a day here, a day there; next thing you know we’re impacting our fall (season) far more than we thought,” Athletic Director Dane Street said.

At Monday’s Board of Education meeting, Street updated the status of the fields at Tiger Hollow and Scotts Ridge Middle School, which is getting a turf upgrade.

To date, both grass fields have been removed. The new track was installed at the stadium earlier this month and new fencing was added last week.

“There’s a lot of little pieces going on that to the naked eye it looks like it’s just been sitting there, but I assure you work has been ongoing all summer,” Street said.

The turf for Scotts Ridge’s field arrived Wednesday, Street said, and installation is expected to begin immediately. He anticipates that teams can start using it by Sept. 28.

Tiger Hollow’s turf is expected to arrive the first week of October. Luke McCoy, of Kaestle Boos Associates, the architecture firm overseeing the projects, said many of the delays are based on a lack of turf-making materials.

The goal, Street said, is to have Tiger Hollow’s field ready for the final home game of the football season, which is scheduled for the first week of November.

“There’s nothing more frustrating than not being able to play your games in your stadium, and we’re doing everything we can to keep that process moving,” he added. “We have a good plan in place to get through the next couple of weeks ... using our second turf field down at Tiger Hollow as well as our grass field.”

The Tigers are supposed to open their season at home on Sept. 25. That game is now scheduled to be played on Tiger Hollow II, which is adjacent to the main field but lacks bleachers.

Coach Kevin Callahan said the plan is to move temporary bleachers to Tiger Hollow II and put scissor lifts for coaches to get a birds’ eye view of the field.

“It’s not an ideal situation but everyone has done a really nice job to make the best of it,” Street said.

Sports writer Scott Ericson contributed to this story. alyssa.seidman@hearstmediact.com