HUNTERSVILLE – SouthLake Christian Academy’s new artificial turf field is nearly completed.
The renovation project has taken most of the winter and spring, and is the centerpiece in the revamping of the school’s athletic facilities.
“It is finished,” said Joe Haney, SouthLake Christian’s athletic director. “The turf’s rubberized pellets have been added. It’s not quite ready to practice or have games on it, but it’s very close.”
SouthLake Christian’s new field will require less maintenance than a grass field and can withstand heavier use. No longer is there grass to plant, water or cut. It will be home to the Eagles’ football, soccer and lacrosse teams, along with summer youth football programs.
“There’s a real buzz about it,” Haney said. “It’s exciting, especially for the parents who have younger students who might not be on varsity teams right now. It’s a nice enhancement.”
The school’s Eagle logo stretches from one 45-yard line to the other. SouthLake Christian joins Hough and Mooresville as lake-area schools with artificial turf fields.
During the installation, SouthLake Christian’s spring teams were spread hither and yon for practices and home games. Baseball went to East Lincoln Optimist Park in Denver. Softball was played mostly at Torrence Chapel Park in Cornelius. Girls soccer is at Richard Barry Park in Huntersville. The boys lacrosse team play at Castanea Presbyterian Church in Stanley.
“We had great cooperation from the parks and recreation departments and the Optimist Club,” Haney said. “The parents did a great job working with us and getting players to where they needed to be and our opponents were cooperative. I think everyone understood the situation.”
SouthLake Christian also will relocate its softball and baseball fields. The softball field will switch to where the baseball field was, next to the football stadium and adjacent to N.C. 73. The new baseball field will be moved to nearby Hagers Ferry Road, site of the former football practice field. Those fields hopefully will be completed in time for next spring, Haney said.
The new turf field will be accompanied by a new field house, which will house locker rooms, a training room and weight-training facilities. That’s scheduled to be completed by the fall.
SouthLake Christian’s athletic renovation will also include a new gym, but that’s two or three years away, Haney said. It will provide a new home and more space for the Eagles’ basketball, volleyball and wrestling teams. There also are plans for new educational buildings that will house classrooms.
The cost of the projects wasn’t disclosed.
“It was a school-wide effort,” Haney said. “We got a lot of support from a lot of people.”
SouthLake Christian is a private school with students in kindergarten through 12th grade. It opened in 1994 and has grown to include 38 middle school, junior varsity and varsity high school teams.