The newly installed artificial-turf football field at West Hempstead High School is the first of several completed renovations. In addition to the football field, the track and tennis courts were also refurbished in July.
“It’s a very exciting time for our community,” said district Superintendent Daniel Rehman. “It’s coming to life, and we’re excited to show the community all of the hard work that we’re doing.”
The renovation project, which began in 2016, is funded by the district’s $35 million bond. The high school began construction on grass baseball and soccer fields earlier this summer, and they are scheduled for completion by next year.
Rehman said that discussions of the bond began about six years ago. The Board of Education formed committees to explain the project to parents in the community — saying that remodeling the high school fields would promote more recreational activities for residents.
“Through those meetings, we understood that everybody wants to make sure we have what’s best for our children,” said Board President Karen Brohm. “It’s very rewarding to see this come to fruition. Listening to the community give praise for the work that was done . . . it really makes this job a wonderful experience.”
“We’ve had some of our recent graduates come back and tell us how amazing the field looks,” Rehman said. “Just to see all the smiles and the excitement that they have is great.”
The Rams varsity football team opened its season on its new home field with a 15-6 win over the East Rockaway Rocks last Saturday. After the team played all of its games at opposing teams’ fields, Rams head coach Dom Carre said that returning home to be in front of friends and family was a great experience for his players.
“I’m a big visual guy,” Carre said, “so having a nice home field for our team to play on is something for them to take a little pride in.” From a coaching standpoint, Carre added, he doesn’t have to worry about the grounds crew cutting the field or putting the hash marks down.
Now that the football field is done, the district hopes to host more events at the high school, such as track meets. The next occasion for the high school is its Homecoming on Sept. 22.
“It really is a showpiece of our community,” Brohm said, “and it’s what all of our kids deserve.”