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Construction is nearing an end on Lampeter-Strasburg's new $3.5 million upgrade to its football and soccer fields that began several months ago.

The project is essentially a facelift to the fields, with a turf surface replacing the grass. The pressbox in the football stadium has also been renovated, along with the addition of handicap accessible ramps that now enter from behind the bleachers.

"There's a whole bunch of excitement from the kids," longtime L-S football coach John Manion said. "I'm excited for game nights...but this is for more than just football."

While L-S will become the 13th Lancaster-Lebanon League football team with a turf field, the new surfaces will also serve to benefit the soccer, field hockey and lacrosse teams at L-S in varsity, junior varsity and beyond.

And that was the point of this project, as overusage of both grass fields in previous years often left the surfaces torn up. A synthetic turf field will be able to hold about 300 events, while a grass field can hold about 80 events per year, according to district estimates.

"With our current usage we were short many, many fields," Lampeter-Strasburg athletic director Branden Lippy said in an email. "Hence the 'value' in turf and being able to put multiple sports on the surfaces."

The updates are just a part of a multi-year plan in which the district has $5 million budgeted through the 2018-19 school year to restore or renovate existing outdoor athletic facilities on its campus. The cost of the projects do not require a tax raise for residents as none of the money is coming from the district's general fund, but instead is coming from the district's capital reserve fund.

Here's some other updates taking place to athletic facilities across the L-L League this summer...

Annville-Cleona: Athletic director Tommy Long said A-C installed a "new scoreboard for our football stadium. It will be a scoreboard with a video board and sound system. We are excited about this upgrade and appreciate the sponsors who are helping make this happen."

Donegal: Athletic director Ron Kennedy said the "gym floor is being re-finished," along with an "upgrade of lights at our junior high (stadium), and construction began on what will be our multi-purpose/wrestling room."

Elco: Athletic director Doug Bohannon said, "Tennis courts were resurfaced and a new set of light standards installed at the stadium."

Elizabethtown: Athletic director Linda Ahern said this summer and fall the scoreboards at the baseball field and the main gymnasium will be replaced. Added Ahern: "We are also working on our main entrance to our football stadium where we are replacing pavers that keep sinking."

Lancaster Catholic: Athletic director Rich Hinnenkamp said the tennis courts are being resurfaced.

Lancaster Mennonite: Athletic director Nasser Salim said the old gymnasium inside the high school, now mostly used for physical education courses and sometimes for Blazers' basketball practices, is getting a complete facelift, "from the ceiling to replacing tiles and lighting to repainting the walls to putting in a new floor."

Manheim Township: The turf Ed Journey Field and turf Gene Kruis Field were each replaced over the winter. The tennis courts were also resurfaced.

McCaskey: This school district is very busy with summer projects, according to athletic director Jon Mitchell. Both Lincoln and Reynolds Middle School are undergoing major construction that "will provide new/renovated gymnasiums and locker rooms by the 2019-20 season." The Reynolds project also includes a parking deck with a sport surface that teams can use for practices. On the main campus, the practice football and soccer fields behind McCaskey East High School have been re-crowned and reseeded. The school is working with Tennis Central and the USTA to have the tennis courts resurfaced and repainted. Finally, the school is moving forward with a major trophy case/Hall of Fame project outside the main gymnasium, and will be holding a golf tournament Aug. 3 to support the project.

Penn Manor: A new scoreboard will be installed on the high school turf field, and new varsity tennis courts are being constructed at Manor Middle School, with the latter slated to be completed by the start of the spring boys tennis season.

Pequea Valley: Athletic director Mark Grossman said, "We have a major redesign to our softball field. New field on a slightly different location. The field will have dugouts, fence, scoreboard, etc."

Solanco: Athletic director Anthony Hall said the track has been resurfaced, while the school continues to explore options in a future rebuild of the wrestling building after the structure collapsed over the winter, but Hall expects it'll be "at least a year before that's finished."

Warwick: Athletic director Ryan Landis said, "Only notable item was a structure added to our softball field and additions to the dugouts that were a result of a fundraising campaign by our parents' group, community donors, and the school district. It will provide storage and a place for the scorekeeper and other benefits for both Warwick and our opponents to match our baseball program and keep us in compliance with Title IX."

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September 10, 2018


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