Academy of Holy Angels (AHA) announced plans to begin construction this summer on a new, lighted synthetic turf practice facility that will be domed during the winter months for year-round play. The project received approval from the Richfield City Council at its meeting on June 13,, 2017. The new field will replace the existing natural grass on the school’s southwest corner and will be constructed to accommodate a future dome that will expand the capabilities of Holy Angel’s well-known StarDome.
The new turf and future dome will provide for the highest use of this available land, including practice areas for all of the school’s high demand outdoor physical education and athletic needs. Additionally, the new Richfield facility along with the StarDome will be positioned as one of the state’s premier sites for multi-game events and tournaments. “This facility, as an addition to our current StarDome, elevates our physical education and athletic programs to the next level,” according to AHA’s president Tom Shipley. “Our students and families will be the immediate beneficiaries of the new field and dome, but it will certainly be an attractive sports destination for Richfield and our visitors.”
Multi-purpose fields nationwide, and here in Minnesota, are providing stress release and revived spirit for schools who are tasked with overused grass turfs utilized by multiple teams and differentiating programs. Synthetic turf fields can be used up until the snow appears in winter and significantly earlier in the spring as there is an absence of frost on the turf. For Holy Angels, the benefits of two fields utilized year-round will give students and families a needed alternative to evening practices.
The field has been an important element in Academy of Holy Angel’s long-range campus plan which was introduced in 2013. The plan incorporates improved access and upgraded traffic flow and parking, as well as renovations and upgrades to the historic gothic school building built in 1931 by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. Construction on the new field is planned to commence in early July 2017.