Catholic Transcript Magazine of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford Connecticut

Sunday, May 27, 2018

WEST HAVEN – Construction on the main practice field at Notre Dame High School will begin in June, kicking off the first phase of the school’s campus beautification project, “Fields of Dreams.”

“We have had an outstanding fund-raising year on our ‘Fields of Dreams’ campaign and, as a result, I am thrilled to announce that the board of directors has decided to move forward with phase one of construction this summer, which includes installing turf on our main practice field on the side of the gym and constructing the new school entrance, which will improve traffic flow,” said Holy Cross Brother James Branigan, Notre Dame president. “These renovations will be completed for the opening of school in late August.”

A pair of major donations and challenges created a successful year-end financial windfall for the campaign, which was announced in September 2013. The school has raised over $1.25 million of its $2 million campaign goal. Much of the money was donated in December, when more than $550,000 was raised in a six-week span, courtesy of the two major donations and challenges.

The “Fields of Dreams” project calls for installing artificial turf on both practice fields, adding perimeter lighting, renovating the existing track, adding fencing to the school’s property line and adding a landscaped entrance to campus.

“It was Christmas in springtime for those of us involved in Notre Dame athletics,” said Tom Marcucci, ’66, director of athletics, after hearing that construction had been scheduled.

“These artificial turf fields are necessary for us in so many ways.”

He thanked Brother James and the board for the decision, adding, “Our football and soccer teams will be excited to come back to practice in August with a brand-new field.”

Once the remaining $750,000 is raised, the second phase, which includes construction of the front track and field, and installation of field lights and perimeter fencing, will begin. The plan is for that construction to take place in either fall 2014 or spring 2015, upon the conclusion of fund-raising.

Kathy Wielk, Notre Dame’s vice president for advancement, expressed confidence that donors would continue to be generous.

“Once we complete these outdoor campus improvements, we are proud to say that this school and campus will have been totally transformed, benefiting all aspects of student life – academic, arts, spiritual and athletic,” she said.

“It’s amazing that we will have invested $12,500,000 in Notre Dame High School over the past six years to enhance our facilities,” Ms. Wielk added.

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