Stadium Initiative FAQ's
When will competition games and matches be able to be played on the new field?
Currently the project is at least one month ahead of schedule! The timeline for the new surface construction has exceeded expectations due to an unusually mild winter and also through sound project management by McAnany Construction Company of Shawnee, Kansas, and sub-contractor work by Broski Fence of Overland Park, Kansas.
Weather-permitting, Saint Thomas Aquinas High School expects to receive a certificate of occupancy well in advance of the conclusion of spring sports and activities. It is our hope that each spring-season field activity be able to practice and compete on the new field before the 2012 season concludes.
When did construction begin?
In mid-November 2011, construction plans for the new facility were set in motion. Engineers began working on site development, contractors staged the site with equipment and prepared adjacent land and project-entry areas, and managers submitted building permit applications to city and county offices and to the Archdiocese. Once the required permits were secured, actual dirt-moving began the next day -- in early January 2012.
What are some of the unique details of the project?
Extra care has been given to the preparation of land, hard-surfaces and amenities in and around the stadium, both for safety and long-term accessibility and maintenance.
- Sub-Surface Preparation
To begin the process of preparing the field for turf installation, the entire site was re-graded and leveled at approximately two feet lower than the original surface. Electrical and water utilities were re-located with access points strategically installed for future use. To facilitate proper drainage, a six-foot trench was dug around the circumference of the field for installation of 6,000 linear feet of drain-pipe. Next, 4,000 tons of rock and 130,000 square feet of filter fabric were installed. The final layer of gravel was then electronically leveled by laser-guided equipment in preparation for the delivery of custom-made turf fabric.
In addition to the sub-surface drain system, grading on the south and west sides of the field has been drastically improved for better overall drainage and maintenance and also in consideration of our residential neighbors. The entire area have been re-seeded this spring.
The dimensions for the soccer field have increased from 53 x 100 yards to 75 x 120 yards, making the Saint Thomas Aquinas field the largest high school soccer field in the region. Spectator walkways have been considerably widened and also resurfaced, including across the front of the home-team bleachers and along the north fence behind the end zone.
Watching the process unfold each day, literally, reminds the viewer, "it's all in the details." About 50 large rolls of custom-made 2 3/4"-tall turf fabric manufactured by Tencate Turf in Austin, Texas, have been individually placed by hand and exactly measured over the gravel underlayment. Each yard-marker, out-of-bounds line, number and hash mark then has been cut-in by hand and secured into the overall field layout. Once the turf installation is complete, two large machines will spread and level the contents of 200 two-ton bags of rubber pellets made from 66,000 recycled rubber tires! Care is taken to make sure the rubber is spread evenly, allowing it to settle around the fibers of the turf-carpet. The process is repeated over and over again until the rubber layer is approximately two inches deep, providing the cushion necessary for game-play.
- Fencing, Scoreboard and Play Clocks
In addition to installation of high-quality black powder-coated fencing around the complex, 30' netting has been installed between the baseball and multi-sport fields to afford greater safety for players and spectators during simultaneous practice and game use. The scoreboard and play clocks have been re-situated and raised for greater viewing from both sides of the stadium.
What student activities and sports will use the facilities and when?
All students will have access to the new field and facilities through various student activities and classes such as Physical Education. Specific sports and activities, due to the nature of each, will take scheduling precedence for competition and/or practice on the new synthetic turf field as determined by the Saint Thomas Aquinas Athletic Director. These activities include but are not limited to KSHSAA sanctioned sports: Football, Boys Soccer, Girls Soccer; STA Student Activities: Band, Cheerleading, Color Guard and Dance Team; and STA clubs: Lacrosse, Field Hockey, Rugby.
Are the Visitor Seating bleachers still part of the project?
Yes! The Visitor Seating area including permanent seating for 1,000 guests will be developed during summer 2012, in time for the first scheduled event of the 2012-2013 year: Saint Thomas Aquinas vs. St. James Academy Boys Soccer on Friday evening, August 24, 2012.
Will there be a walkway to the Visitor Seating area?
There is a 15-foot wide walkway lined with fencing that leads from the concession area to the south side of the stadium and the Visitor Seating bleacher area.
Will the Visitor Seating area have its own concessions and restrooms?
Not yet. For now, visitors will be directed to utilize the facilities located at the northwest corner of the stadium.
Will other schools and organizations be able to use the new facilities?
Student clubs, activities and sports for Saint Thomas Aquinas High School will take precedence over other organizations having access to the field and stadium facility.
Based on availability, the field and stadium be will accessible to local groups and organizations through a rental agreement, with preference given to Johnson County Catholic parish organizations. The established and contracted rate will fairly cover the cost incurred by STA for staffing, maintenance and utilities during the allotted rental time. These agreements will not be intended to become profit centers as our primary focus will remain to serve the students and families of the Saint Thomas Aquinas High School community.
For the opening fall season, Saint Thomas Aquinas has extended an invitation to our brothers and sisters from St. James Academy to use the stadium facility and field for four (4) home football games for the same rental agreement that is made available to other organizations. We are pleased to be able to "Pay It Forward," with respect for and recollection of the good will expressed by Bishop Miege High School to the Saints from 1988-1992, when the Saints utilized the Stags stadium and field until we had a stadium of our own.
How will Project Donors be recognized?
All monetary and in-kind donors to the Stadium Initiative project will be recognized in upcoming printed materials and publications in alphabetical order. This includes but is not limited to the 2012 Extravaganza Event Program
, Saints Spiri
t magazine, monthly Parent Newsletter
, and 2011-12 Stewardship Annual Report
In addition, Stadium Initiative donors at the $2,500 level and above will be prominently displayed on permanent signage in the stadium area. The deadline for permanently-recognized gifts is June 1, 2012
Current donors may extend their pledges beyond 2012 to be included in the permanent recognition program.