After six years, NEWTURF finally completed

By Maarten Van-Genabeek
Published: June 2010

After a few years of practicing on an uneven track and running in the streets, NEWTURF, the project to bring new field structures to Newton South, has finally been completed.

Before the new fields and track were installed, many sports teams were required to play on the dangerous, non-maintained fields.

Ted Tye founded the NEWTURF project with the mission to replace the deplorable field conditions at South.

After five years of fighting and 34 public meetings, the City of Newton finally passed the project and allowed construction to begin on the fields and track.

And although the turf fields were finished by November, legal trouble delayed the track’s completion, leaving the Outdoor Track program without a home for nearly a year.

Late that summer, production was halted due to a lawsuit by an individual who claimed that the project infiltrated 10 to 15 feet of protected marshland near the school.

Production was stopped for nearly three months, but finally the turf fields and baseball field were completed. However, the track was still not finished and was then continued later in March. The softball field was constructed poorly and was redone, as well.

Some teams, including both Track teams, were even forced off campus to compete but looked forward to the improvement in facilities.

“The old track was like running on a mine field, it’s ridiculous that the best athletes at the school had to risk injury on the poorest facilities, senior Evan Pierce said.

Besides running on a poor surface when the old track was ripped up, the team had to travel three times a week, including Saturdays, to Weston High School to borrow their facilities.

“Traveling to Weston several times a week was difficult to coordinate and took up a large portion of what little free time track kids have, Pierce said.

Distance runners had to settle for running in streets, which always brings up the danger of cars and injuries.

However, now the team finally has a new track to run on, which surrounds the new football field. Aside from the track, new jumping pits and a shot put pit were installed.

The team is excited to have a new surface for both practice and home meets, something the Track programs have not enjoyed in six years.

“Hopefully, since we can hold meets, more people who support South will be able to come to the meets and show their support for the team, senior Steve Murphy said.

The new track was first used in the All-City meet between the four middle schools of Newton: Brown, Oak Hill, Day, and Bigelow.

The meet showed off the prowess of having brand new high tech facilities.

The new track will provide a brand new and safe training environment for the team and allow them to build on past success over the past four seasons.

Both the Girls’ and Boys’ Outdoor Track teams have been Dual County League champions each of the past four years and look to extend that streak as they start preparing and training for next season.

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