The athletic program at Dana Hall gets an upgrade with the new turf field

Ground was broken at the old Shipley field on May 29, beginning a summer-long project that would transform Dana Hall. The turf field has been a long-awaited addition to Dana Hall, and many parents, athletes, and students are excited about the field and the future of Dana Hall’s athletic program. It will be used primarily for varsity field hockey and lacrosse. Dana Hall’s varsity field hockey team held its first game on the new field on September 11. 

After many months of fundraising, the Advancement Office raised the 1.8 million dollars needed to start the project. The construction and expansion of the field also led to the new entryway and path from Grove Street up to Dana Road. Angela Brown, Director of the Admission and Financial Aid Office at Dana Hall, predicts that the turf field will be worth the money and completely change the Dana Hall athletic program. 

Rebecca Kimball, new Director of Athletics, Health, and Wellness at Dana Hall, is pleased about the changes. She explained that the turf field creates a better athletics program, which brings more students to Dana Hall. She also said that without a turf field, Dana Hall was behind, as they were one of the last schools in the area to get a turf field. Without one, the school was at a disadvantage and potentially lost possible student athletes to schools such as Dexter Southfield and Winsor, which both have strong athletic programs. 

Ms. Kimball also says that Dana Hall’s new facilities — the new hockey rink on Route 9 in addition to the turf field — will bring in new students because “Facilities matter, and parents want to see good facilities. It’s one big circle.” Ms. Brown explains, “I think students who are very focused on athletics do consider what the athletic facilities look like, the fields, as well as the competitiveness of the team” when they are choosing a school to attend.

According to Ms. Kimball, field hockey is a completely different sport when played on turf as opposed to grass. It makes the game faster-paced and focuses much more on stick skills. 

The turf does raise some environmental concerns: while the rubber granules in the turf are not harmful to us, they affect the biodiversity in the area. According to the Safe Healthy Playing Fields Coalition, approximately 4,800 pounds of these rubber granules will make their way into the environment every year, requiring replacement. Turf fields also release carbon dioxide into the environment, unlike grass fields, which would absorb carbon dioxide. Dana Hall planted two trees for every tree that was removed for the construction of the field.

Comments are closed.