This is one in a series of posts showcasing the most outstanding high school football stadiums with artificial turf. Every field has its own story. See the full list Here.
Leaders at Columbus Academy weren’t planning to replace the football stadium’s grass field at the private, nondenominational PreK-12 school in Gahanna, Ohio. But during a recent capital campaign, the John and Linda Hondros family followed one generous donation with a second gift — money they designated for an artificial turf football field which is now rechristened, not surprisingly, Hondros Field.
Once other school families saw the possibilities unleashed by the Hondroses (three of their four children attended Columbus Academy) those families stepped up to fund a second turf field to be used by the physical education classes and multiple sports teams. Learn more on Columbus Academy’s surface Here.
So Columbus Academy went from no turf fields to two turf fields practically overnight!
“Sometimes, things fall from the sky,” athletic director Dominic Facciolla says. “And now we can spread the wealth.”
Indeed, the two fields — installed over the summer by FieldTurf for about $1.2 million — have been in high demand since opening in August. Google Calendar helps Facciolla and coaches keep track of schedules and field usage. Columbus Academy also is fortunate enough to have an additional eight grass fields (three of which double as baseball and softball outfields) on its 230-acre campus.
But those grass fields wreaked plenty of havoc prior to this fall. “You had one bad Friday night football game, weather-wise, and you had a chewed-up football field,” Facciolla says, adding that teams playing on the old grass football field would frequently postpone early-season games because of foul weather and fear of tearing up the field to soon in the season. “Our grass fields have never been in such great shape as they are now, because we’re not using them as much. We’re alleviating some of the stress on those fields.”
Columbus Academy middle school teams and community youth sports organizations also receive playing and practice times on the multipurpose turf field, which has park-like bench seating for about 150 people and plenty of berm space for additional fans.
Hondros Field, which seats 1,400 spectators, is permanently lined for football and soccer, with tick marks indicating where lines can be painted for lacrosse. Administrators considered adding permanent lines for lacrosse and field hockey, but opted against it because fans and players found too many marks confusing. Plus, why aesthetically disrupt one of the finest showcase fields in central Ohio?