There were arguably two victories at Brent Steuerwald Field in Clifton Park on Friday night, as the Shenendehowa Plainsmen eked out a win over Schenectady.
The other achievement was the surface the game was played on: new turf that's part of a $3.5 million upgrade to the stadium that was officially unveiled for Sept. 11's homecoming game.
The most prominent upgrade is the new turf field, emblazoned with the Shen namesake, but the project also included the installation of new bleachers, scoreboard, concession stand and restroom facilities. The old 6-lane track was replaced with a new 8-lane one.
While Friday's football game was the first match on the turf, the football team won't be the only organization to benefit from the new facilities. The track team, of course, will likely appreciate the running track, and the sports of field hockey, lacrosse, soccer and baseball can either compete or practice on the field. The Shen colorguard, dance team and cheerleading squad will also make use of the facilities.
Voters narrowly approved the project in a December 2007 referendum in a vote of 1,549 to 1,526.
The track is not the only recent sports addition at Shen. Over the summer, the district cut the ribbon on its new aquatics facility, which voters approved in 2004. The $9.7 million pool will bring swimming to the school's physical education program as well as give the swimming and diving team a permanent home after years of transience.
The pool is not yet open for community use, though it is planned to be made available in the future.
While the new field was approved and completed in two years, after a full year a Department of Transportation Safe Routes to School grant still languishes in a state approval process.
In September of last year, the district was awarded $488,500 to construct approximately 6,900 feet of trails around the sizable main campus and other district locations, erect signage and other safety measures at road intersections and locations like the Clifton Park-Halfmoon Library with nearby schools and neighborhoods.