The grass field in Garden Spot High School’s main athletic stadium has presented several challenges for its various sports teams over the years.
“One downpour five minutes before a game and you’d have to postpone because the field doesn’t drain,” Garden Spot athletic director March Schaffer said. “And if it rained on a Friday night during a football game, the field would be ruined for the rest of the season.”
The field’s only time of respite came during the spring and summer months, until the boys and girls lacrosse team began using the field in the spring a few years ago.
“With the volume of teams using it, the field doesn’t have time to repair itself,” Schaffer said.
Those problems will soon be no longer for Garden Spot. At its July 13 meeting, the Eastern Lancaster County School Board approved plans to replace Garden Spot’s grass field in the main stadium with a synthetic turf.
The project is estimated to cost $2.5 million to $2.8 million. The run-down track and stadium fence will also be replaced at an estimated cost of $600,000.
Schaffer said the turf field and new track project will begin in May 2021 to be completed by August 2021 for the start of the fall 2021 sports season.
The new turf field and track will benefit Garden Spot’s football, boys and girls soccer, field hockey, boys and girls lacrosse and boys and girls track and field programs.
Garden Spot's football team will also become the 14th in the Lancaster-Lebanon League with a turf field — the last to make the transition was Lampeter-Strasburg in 2018.
Also at its July 13 meeting, the Elanco school board approved plans to install a new hardwood floor in the main gymnasium, at a cost of roughly $390,000.
That will go along with the ongoing projects at the high school that include the replacement of lockers, the replacement of the wood bleachers in the school’s old gymnasium, and new lighting in the main gymnasium and wrestling room, all of which are part of a $3.13 million contract that was approved by the Elanco board at its March 16 meeting.
The gymnasium projects are expected to be completed by November. As a result, Schaffer said the Garden girls volleyball team might have to practice and play in the old gymnasium this fall.