Colorado Academy’s Newton Turf Field—a second, lighted athletic surface situated just west of the existing Slater Turf Field—is taking shape, with crews working throughout summer 2022 to prepare the property for construction.
By late fall, reports Director of Operations Jesse Schumacher, who has shepherded the project since the spring, Newton Field should be ready for play.
The new field will be a game-changer for CA, says Director of Athletics Bill Hall. “The addition of Newton Field will enhance the athletics experience for hundreds of CA students,” he says.
The field will also benefit the greater community, since it will be available for club teams, college teams, and professional teams to use year-round, generating revenue for CA’s operating budget.
Over the summer, Schumacher oversaw demolition and earth-moving to lay the foundation for the field, which is located on the site of the former Newton family farm. Frances Newton was on the CA Board of Trustees and worked closely with former Head of School Chuck Froelicher in the 1950s and ’60s, as CA transitioned from a military school to a boarding and day school.
A barn, silo, and back house on the Newton property were demolished, though the historic main farmhouse was left intact.
Heavy equipment moved about 30,000 cubic yards of dirt on the property to define and level out the terraces that will support both Newton Field and new seating for Slater Field. “Much of the dirt on the property,” notes Schumacher, “came from the dredging of Woody’s Pond, and, so far, we have not had to bring in any additional dirt for this project.”
Schumacher says that workers have begun finalizing the dirt work to achieve the correct grade for the slope between Slater and Newton Fields (where new Slater Field seating will be installed), the terrace that will hold Newton Field, and the slope between Newton and the west end of the property (where Newton Field seating will be installed).
Next will come the installation of retaining walls, underground utilities, and the actual turf surface. “Turf fields require fine grading of the dirt, multiple layers of supporting material, and the creation of concrete curb edges,” Schumacher says, before the turf itself is stretched.
The lighted field will feature environmentally friendly LED lights along the sidelines. The tall supporting poles and angled fixtures focus the light downward, creating zero light pollution.
To date, generous donors have pledged more than $4.79 million of the estimated $7 million total budget for the Newton property project.
“We are grateful to the CA families who have committed their support for this incredible addition to the campus,” says Advancement Officer Gravely Wilson. “While there remains much to be done, we are already looking forward to the games that will be played on the new field this fall.” Girls Field Hockey will be the first to compete on Newton Field; Girls and Boys Lacrosse will take advantage of the new surface in the spring.