- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Those at The Calverton School in Huntingtown now have one more reason to look forward to warmer weather.
During the holidays, the school acquired a synthetic athletic field, the first of its kind in Calvert County.
Calverton Head of School Spence Taintor said that in 2006, the private school started an expansion that included two natural fields, six tennis courts and a parking lot. He said a synthetic field had always been part of the plan but was put off until about Christmas 2012, when a school parent approached him about a field for sale in Washington, D.C.
Taintor said the field was transported to the school during its winter break and is now “in about 70 different rolls.
“We’re just waiting for April to roll around when the weather’s nice,” Taintor said of the field’s installation. He said the school will be conducting some fundraisers for the installation costs between now and then.
He said the field will be used for soccer, field hockey, lacrosse, intramurals and, eventually, maybe even a football team, which Calverton has never had.
“We’re definitely going to investigate it, and this gives the option that if we want to, we will,” Taintor said of adding a football team to the school’s athletic programs.
He said the field should take about six weeks to build and install, and that it would be ideal to have it in by the end of lacrosse season in May.
“Definitely by the summer — no question about it,” Taintor said.
Benefits of a synthetic field, Taintor said, include the fact that they dry fast, so teams can play within a half hour of rain. He said this also tends to lead to fewer injuries because the field won’t be as slippery as natural turf.
“This provides a high-quality surface, year round, all the time,” Taintor said, adding that the field also would not be dependent on sunlight to stay in good condition.
“That’s a real advantage to athletes,” he said.
Taintor said the school also purchased a sanitation machine, which will be used on the field on a regular basis. He said the field will be open for county use, as well.
“We really saw this as a county asset. … We’d really love to see some community organizations come out and use it,” he said.
Calvert County Board of County Commissioners President Pat Nutter (R) said the field seems to be one of several initiatives from The Calverton School to strengthen its relationships in the county.
“They want to be more involved, and they have [been] with a food drive and things of that nature. They’re part of the county, and they want to be part of the county,” Nutter said.
Calvert County Public Schools Supervisor of Athletics Kevin Hook said the school system has been looking into the option of synthetic fields for several years but has put off seriously considering them due to the economic downturn.
Like Taintor, Hook said the greatest benefit to the fields is being able to play despite inclement weather.
“Lightning would be the only thing you’d have to worry about,” Hook said. “We have been looking at it. We’d just have to figure out how to fund it.”