ANGOLA – After experiencing heavy rains over the past soccer season that made the Angola High School soccer field unsafe, the school will be able to officially play on the turf next season.
The Steuben County Metropolitan School District Board of Directors approved at Tuesday night’s meeting the installation of a new grass football pitch and a new track at the high school.
The installation of the football field and track is expected to begin in 2022 and should be completed by early August, in time for the start of the football season.
MSD Superintendent Matthew Widenhoefer said he couldn’t be happier to finally have a grass pitch at school.
“It is something that we really need, especially from a security point of view,” he said. “The problem this year was that the pitch became unplayable due to the large amount of rain we had. “
The project also includes the installation of new LED lighting on the football field as well as on the baseball and softball fields. He said the current lighting is obsolete and will save the district money on its electricity costs.
The school grounds were devastated by rain this year and many students and parents were disappointed that they could not play.
He said that as a result, the school would not be able to host section games and would have to use the fields of neighboring schools like the one at Trine University.
“When we cannot use our own land, it results in a loss of money and stake that we cannot afford to lose,” he said. “Our track and field programs are self-funded and they need to be able to stay afloat.”
Angola’s high school athletic director Steve Lantz said even their training ground had been flooded and drainage issues were common on the school’s soccer field.
The installation of a lawn is a way for the school to modernize its sports facilities and to prevent injuries.
He said the school has been considering getting a grass pitch for some time and will now be able to use the pitch all year round except in January and February.
“We’re really excited to have a grass pitch and can’t wait to make the pitch usable for everyone,” he said.
The school has local partners like Cameron Memorial Community Hospital who plan to help maintain the new land.
“It has to be an area that the whole community can use. The only thing I have heard from people is “It’s about time! ”, Said Widenhoefer.