After two years of planning and fundraising, the Dallastown Area Education Foundation and district officials broke ground Monday on the new turf field that will be ready for use at the start of the fall athletic season.
The foundation is in charge of raising the full $864,201 for the project so the district does not use any taxpayer funds. So far, $629,339 has been raised.
The foundation's next big fundraiser for the field will be a tailgate kickoff event at the football team's first home game of the season, said foundation chairman Kevin Marquet. In the meantime, the foundation also will be raising funds through its capital campaign with individual donors, he said.
The foundation has received donations from organizations including The American Legion and Glatfelter Insurance that equal $40,000. The foundation has also received smaller gifts from many other organizations, including several of the district's booster clubs.
"It's been a labor of love," said Kristin McDermott, a foundation member involved since 2012. A York Township resident and mother of three children in the district, McDermott said she got involved initially because of the turf fundraising efforts.
The turf field will benefit her children in the future, who play soccer and football, but McDermott said she's also excited to be a part of continued fundraising for a wide variety of district initiatives that will benefit other students in the community after the project is completed.
If all goes as scheduled, the field will be finished by August, two years after the school board gave the go-ahead for the foundation to begin raising funds.
Project details came before the board multiple times since that: The board gave final approval for the project in April when the foundation reported it had raised $500,000 for the project.
A-Turf is the company in charge of the field installation, which will include a 12-year warranty and a concussion pad underneath as an added safety feature.
The stadium's track will be kept intact, but the entire stadium will be closed until August 15 during construction.