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New home of the Knights shaping up nicely

Improved athletic facilities part of renovation project at Kingswood Regional High School

KINGSWOOD ATHLETIC DIRECTOR Andrea Ogden and Clerk of the Works Tom Beaudette stand on the new bleachers and survey what will eventually be the school’s new turf field. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
June 22, 2010
WOLFEBORO — As students and teachers were packing up for an early finish to the school year at Kingswood Regional High School, activity was ramping up on the construction project that has taken over the grounds of the complex in Wolfeboro.

A significant part of the expansion and renovation project in the works now are the new athletic facilities, and Clerk of the Works Tom Beaudette and Athletic Director Andrea Ogden led Salmon Press on a tour of what will be the new home for the Kingswood Knights.

As of the end of May, Beaudette reported that progress on the area in which the new turf field will be located was moving along quite nicely and the bleachers and press box were all in place, giving the feel of an athletic complex.

The press box, which sits above the bleachers and features an indoor section as well as a roof-top filming area, came as a pre-fabricated unit and was simply mounted on top of the bleachers, which Beaudette mentioned were constructed and supplied by the same company that outfitted the seats at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon.

The stands are completely ADA compliant and will fit 1,000 people for soccer, lacrosse, field hockey or football games.

The bleachers are in place and the area underneath the stands was being outfitted on the day of the tour.

The concession stand will anchor the middle of the bleachers and storage areas will encompass the rest of the space, giving the Kingswood teams plenty of space to store equipment of all kinds. The storage space is something severely lacking in the current school, which has led the construction of many temporary sheds on the school grounds.

The grandstand is located just a stone's throw from the back of the new multipurpose building, which can be seen from Route 28. That building will house art and music classrooms, as well as an auditorium and other amenities. It will also have locker rooms for home and visiting teams using the new stadium. There will also be locker rooms for the officials and public restrooms for fans in attendance, meaning no more portable toilets, which were the only facilities available at Knight football games over the last few years.

Between the new "Alumni Field," a name approved by the school board a few weeks ago, and the new multipurpose building will be a parking lot. In fact, there will be parking all around the new building, meaning a short walk for fans from their cars to the grandstands.

From the stands, looking across what will be the turf field, the new geothermal heating system pipes were all in place. Beaudette reported that the system will have four different loops from the wells. One loop will lead to the new multipurpose building, another to the high school, another to the junior high school and the fourth to the Region 9 Vocational Center.

Another aspect of the project that the fans won't be able to see when they attend games is the irrigation system for the new fields. While the turf field obviously won't need watering, the other fields in the complex, including baseball and softball diamonds, a practice football "half-field" and a field hockey/lacrosse field, will all have to be irrigated. The new multipurpose building will play a big part in that, as rainwater off of the building will be collected in three 20,000-gallon holding tanks underground. That water will them be used to run the irrigation system and flush the toilets in the new building.

The turf field, which is due to be put in place soon, will be slightly crowned at the center, allowing run-off.

"The accuracy of this field is very, very important," Beaudette said. He noted that the field being installed is NFL-rated. "There's no room for error."

The other fields, once the areas they are occupying have been prepared, will be covered in sod.

A visitor to the site surely will notice that the area for fields has expanded out beyond where the old football field was. Ledge was blasted out and huge piles of rock and dirt cover the complex.

The work continues on at the site with a deadline date of Sept. 1 for the new turf field to be ready, as the Knights will be hosting their first football game on Friday, Sept. 3, against John Stark.

"That's our absolute deadline," Ogden said. "Based on the construction, I feel confident."

She pointed out that the weather has been incredibly cooperative, with snow melting early, which allowed the crews to get moving with site work quickly.

Ogden, who has overseen two other renovations in her years as an athletic director, notes that the Kingswood complex will definitely be something for the entire community to be proud of.

"This will be better than some college campuses, as far as athletic facilities go," she said as she surveyed the piles of rock and dirt covering what used to be playing fields.

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