Rocky Fork Enterprise

Families' donations

Columbus Academy gets all-weather turf fields

Columbus Academy students and the local community will be able to enjoy two artificial turf fields that are scheduled to be ready for play on the Gahanna campus by Aug. 1.

The academy recently announced that its board of trustees had approved a privately funded project to add the all-weather fields. The academy didn't disclose the project's cost.

Bob Lee, academy communications director, said the project is the result of the generosity of two families who have offered to provide funding.

Full funding of the artificial turf field for the school's stadium came as a gift from John and Linda Hondros and their children, Morgan, Cody (class of 2000), Kelly (2006) and Hobie (2008). As a gesture of appreciation, the trustees voted to rename the stadium field Hondros Field.

The track surrounding the field will retain its name in memory of Mike Marsh.

Another Columbus Academy family, who requested anonymity, has pledged half of the funding for the second field.

The school has been working with the family and other interested school families to raise the remaining costs needed for the second field.

Lee said both families involved in the projects already have made commitments to the school's New Quest capital campaign.

Both fields are expected to be finished and ready for practice and competition by Aug. 1, in time for the Vikings' entire fall 2014 athletics season.

Lee said the addition of a stadium competition field and a second practice/competition field will make Columbus Academy one of the few schools in central Ohio with two such all-weather, FieldTurf-brand surfaces.

The advantage of these surfaces is that weather and constant use will have little effect on their durability, he said, so the academy students will gain access to the fields for physical education classes, recess, after-school activities and summer programs.

Lee said the fields also would be a terrific benefit to athletes with aspirations of competing collegiately because the all-weather surfaces are prevalent in college sports.

Lee said the all-weather fields also should help the school attract specialty clinics and camps for youth groups from around central Ohio. He said such activities would help the academy continue to share its resources for the benefit of the community.