By Maryanne Cdristiano-Mistretta
Hanover Park High School officials dedicated the new turf field at the school last month, coinciding with the Hornets’ first home football game of the season.
“It was a very exciting evening to have the new field ready for the first home football game,” said Superintendent of Schools Carol Grossi. “I received many positive comments from the staff, students, and community members about how pleased they are with the new facility. It most certainly was a celebratory evening. First, with the ribbon cutting ceremony, followed with the Hornets winning their first home football game on the new field!”
All the time and effort devoted to the project by the Board of Education and Administration was definitely worthwhile – and it showed on the happy faces amongst the athletes, students, fans and community, during the ceremony.
“It [the ceremony] gave us an opportunity to give thanks to everyone who supported us during construction,” said Grossi. “I hope that students within our communities will enjoy these beautiful facilities for a long time.”
The new field came about following several years of work, installing new turf fields at both Hanover Park and Whippany Park High School. A $9.78 million bond referendum to put in artificial turf, as well as other enhancements at both schools was approved by voters in 2013. Since the fields were constantly used so much – for physical education classes, high school athletics and town recreation youth and adult programs – they resulted in unfavorable and unsafe playing conditions for the athletic teams.
Both schools received additional funding in April from the Jets Foundation and NFL Foundation’s Field Grant program – two checks for $250,000 were written, one for each school.
In addition to football, the new multi-purpose turf field allows for physical education classes, marching band students, girls and boys soccer and boys and girls lacrosse.
Grossi said, “The field always looks pristine and can accommodate many activities within a daily schedule.”
Hanover Park was the first high school field in New Jersey to install a multi-purpose turf field using organic cork as the fill instead of crumb rubber, according to Grossi.
She said, “There are many schools, now, who have seen the fields at our two high schools and have decided to use the organic corks as well. Since there is much controversy with crumb rubber having properties that are carcinogens, we decided to use the organic cork for health and safety reasons.”
According to Grossi, in addition to the new field at Hanover Park High School, they also replaced the track, installed new lights, added new home bleachers, press box and scoreboard, put in a new sound system, installed new fencing, re-seeded the practice field, added new dugouts for the JV softball field, installed a new irrigation system, put in new tennis courts, added a memorial in the entrance plaza replicating the World Trade towers with a piece of steel beam from one of the towers, as well as some other overall field project enhancements.