The second phase of revitalizing Carson-Newman's soccer pitch began this week. Athletic Director David Barger said the latest developments will be of great benefit on a number of levels
"Beyond a safer playing surface, which is paramount, this project will also replace a 26-year-old irrigation system. Plus, it'll provide an even more fan friendly setting that will generate revenue through summer camps and other possibilities," he said.
The first phase, lighting the pitch, was accomplished in 2008 with the support of donors who wanted to help memorialize Rollie File, a freshman who had been killed in an automobile accident. The second phase was also made possible through several private contributions of cash and gifts-in-kind, said the AD.
"We have this opportunity because of the heartfelt generosity of donors. Given the present economy, we wouldn't have amortized this but would have continued to make the old surface as good as possible. But the double benefit is that whereas it would have paid for itself, through savings in irrigation costs in a few years, it will already be paid for and we'll save money."
Work on the pitch's sod is expected to be completed by the end of the month. "You want at least a couple of months on the grow and on the mend before it gets any traffic on it," said Barger.
He noted that efforts are underway to raise funds for new fencing that will both secure the field and enhance the venue. Plans call for a black coated fence anchored by brick piers, in keeping with the architectural features of the softball field and Burke-Tarr Stadium.
The final phase, which Barger says is years away, will complete McCown Field with expanded seating and a press box. Dedication ceremonies for phase two enhancements will be held in conjunction with the opening of the fall season.