Athletic Facilities Renovations Underway
Athletic Facilities Renovations Underway

Thanks to the generous philanthropic investment of Taft alumni, parents, and friends, a significant renovation to Camp Field, Snyder Field, and the rink in Odden Arena is underway.

 

Geoffrey C. Camp '91 Field

A space to honor the memory of Geoffrey Camp '91, Camp field was last redesigned in 2007 with artificial turf and has traditionally been home to Varsity Field Hockey in the Fall and Boys' and Girls' Lacrosse in the Spring. Renovations began last month with the removal of the 13-year-old turf.

"Given the age of the field and the fact that the school had made spot-repairs to the turf in recent years, this project was much needed," said Head of School Willy MacMullen '78.

New turf and a new scoreboard will be installed over the summer, with the field ready for play by the Fall season. View a time-lapse video of the turf removal below.

 

Snyder Field

Snyder Field (often identified as the "boys soccer field") will be converted to a turf field as well, a change that will help ameliorate longstanding drainage issues and degradation of soil conditions over the years. Far too often Snyder is too wet for games to be safely played.

Introducing turf in this space will create a state-of-the-art facility for the school's athletic program and will provide for far greater and more equitable use for more sports across all levels.

"Spring sports will return to using this space for the first time since the construction of Centennial Dorm in 1990, and girls' and boys' lacrosse will no longer share one turf field for practices and games," explained Chief Financial Officer Jake Odden. "The athletic department will gain important space flexibility for scheduling lower-level teams for practices and games, particularly with inclement weather. The importance of this space, with the flexibility to run as many as 3-4 concurrent practices during the week, cannot be overstated in meeting the needs of the overall athletic program."

The landscape design will transform this critical, usually "swampy" field and hillside, into an aesthetically pleasing transition to the upper plateau of athletic fields and facilities while at the same time offer a new community gathering spot.

 

Odden Arena

Completing its 21st year in service in the winter of 2021, the rink in Odden Arena needs both investment in its mechanical infrastructure and replacement of its dasher boards to meet the playability and safety demands of today's game.

In conjunction with addressing these needs, the Olympic size playing surface is being replaced with a slightly narrower NHL size playing surface, which is the standard for secondary and collegiate hockey programs. In addition to securing the rink's infrastructure for the next 25 years and beyond, the renovations position the facility well for off-season utility for other sports, potentially on an indoor synthetic turf.

"This was a very fast-paced and exhilarating mini-campaign. Taft was able to fund the Board-approved project with a wide array of contributions ranging from $1,000 to $1,150,000," said Director of Development Lawrence Crimmins. "Thanks to the support of alumni and families who understand the immediate need around player safety and performance and so quickly stepped forward, we were able to raise $7 million in a three-month period. The philanthropic investment of these donors means that Taft students will be able to use the new facilities in the 2021-22 academic year."