Lincoln Academy gains new all-purpose field

Posted:  Tuesday, August 25, 2015 - 7:15pm

For many years, Lincoln Academy in Newcastle has struggled with maintaining an adequate baseball and soccer field. School officials said conditions declined when construction began two years ago on a new adjacent dormitory and technology facility.

"It was the worst field in the conference,” said Athletic Director K.J. Anastasio on Tuesday, Aug. 25.

According to associate head of school Matthew Goetting, things got worse when drainage from the construction site passed under the soccer field and was covered by loose gravel. Last fall the field was nearly unplayable after heavy rains.

Even in the best of times, teams had to deal with a field that sloped downhill to the far goal. Players raised clouds of dust when they ran across the baseball infield. 

All that will change this fall thanks to an anonymous gift that has allowed construction of a state-of-the-art synthetic surface field.

Anastasio said that the new artificial turf field is even better than those constructed a few years ago since the fibers are longer and more grasslike and the fill is of finer quality than the shredded tire bits previously used.

“It is called Nike Grind,” he said. It is bits of same the fabric used to make athletic shoes; and it is softer and more like natural turf.

The field is painted for five teams: boys and girls soccer and lacrosse, plus field hockey. In addition, the field will be used by the physical education department, summer athletic programs, and, when available, for community use, said Anastasio.

The price tag for the field is $875,000, but thanks to the anonymous gift, there is no cost to the school or to taxpayers, said Goetting. The life expectancy for the surface is 10 to 12 years and the school is setting aside money for its eventual replacement. Additional fan seating is planned for the newly terraced embankment that leads up to the school’s east wing.

The big loser has been the baseball program, which has been forced to play at athletic fields in Waldoboro for the past two years.

Goetting said the plans are all ready underway to construct a new baseball diamond, possibly on school owned property formerly used for field hockey.

The new multi-purpose field will be dedicated to alumnus William A. Clark at homecoming on Saturday, Sept. 26.

Major construction was done by Crooker Construction of Topsham with a surface by FieldTurf.