Massive spring sport field renovations improve drainage, efficiency


With an ever-increasing number of opportunities for students, the need for improved utilities has grown. At Fremd, the renovations are starting in the athletic fields. Used for many outdoor sports, including soccer, softball, baseball, lacrosse, football, and baseball, problems such as ineffective drainage and overall quality of the spaces have led to plans to improve them. Beginning in the fall of 2016, Fremd began drafting ideas to expand utilities for students while the campus footprint remains the same.

In the fall, only boys soccer, boys football, and Viking Marching Band are active. However, just these three activities take up all of Fremd’s outdoor facilities. When it comes to spring, seven programs require the use of the same spaces: girls track and field, boys track and field, girls lacrosse, boys lacrosse, baseball, girls soccer, and girls soccer. Enclosed by the current outdoor configuration, the fields have not been used to their full potential.

With improvements, which started in May, multiple activities do not have to share a single field, and the placement of a field will no longer restrict a sport from practicing effectively. Previously, lower levels of soccer or lacrosse would have to travel off-campus or wait until 7:00 p.m. to practice. With the renovations, Fremd will gain two full fields for spring sports, allowing for increased practice space and competition grounds.

Junior Madeline McFadden, a member of the girls soccer team, believes the improved configuration will be beneficial for athletes.

“It will mean that we won’t have to be far from school and potentially miss the bus after practices,” McFadden said. “It will be more convenient, because we won’t have to run a long way just to practice.”

After the end of this school year, a new underground drainage system will be installed in the field in order to reduce the amount of missed practices and competitions. The configuration will move the varsity softball field to a new field in the southeast corner with updated drainage.

Sophomore Jason Jung, a member of the boys soccer team, expressed that the previous drainage had created problems during practices and competitions.

“The rain ruins the grass for a day or two,” Jung said. “The new drainage system will definitely help make the quality of the field better.”

The only groups displaced by this overhaul are the lower-level baseball teams, which will be assigned space off-campus to practice and play. Making this one sport’s burden is an upgrade from the prior situation that forced girls soccer, boys lacrosse, and girls lacrosse off of Fremd property sporadically throughout the spring depending on the schedule. That being said, there are plans to fit those baseball teams in where the lower-level softball teams play on the northwest side of the school.

The new fields, unlike in previous years, will have permanent fences. This ensures that varsity softball and baseball will have their own designated fields, instead of sharing with other activities.

Athletic director David Dick thinks the new configuration will be hugely beneficial to outdoor sports and athletes.

“I think the fields will be state-of-the-art,” Dick said. “I think the biggest thing is that we’re not going to have to lose games or move off-campus for anything.”