TOPSHAM — The new turf facility at Mt. Ararat High School is on pace to be completed by next week.

“People have been waiting six years for this, it’s exciting,” said Mt. Ararat athletic director Geoff Godo on Tuesday at the new field. “We’re looking forward to hosting games and events at Mt. Ararat once again.”

It’s been about four years since the bulk of Mt. Ararat’s athletic teams played their home games on campus. The football team, for example, has been hosting its games at the at the Topsham Fairgrounds since 2018. The field hockey team has called Mt. Ararat Middle School its home since then, as well. And both soccer teams played their games at Riverside Field in Topsham.

FieldTurf workers paint lines toward the north end zone of the new Mt. Ararat turf field on Tuesday in Topsham. Eli Canfield/The Times Record

The complex is a part of the $60.7M school construction project and will provide the school’s athletic teams a big boost, coaches said this week.

“It’s a game-changer for us and the program as a whole,” said Mt. Ararat field hockey head coach Krista Chase. “I’ve been waiting for 21 years of my coaching career to have a turf field and now it’s a reality, I can’t wait.”

Chase added it will be a major adjustment switching from a grass field to turf.

“We’ve been fortunate to have some games over at Bowdoin, but it will be pretty new to us,” Chase said. “With that being said I think this will elevate our game to a faster and crisper level.”

Boys soccer head coach Jack Rioux said he is excited for the team to settle into a routine rather than rushing to fields off campus to practice and play games.

“We would have to rush over to the field before our games to get as much of a warm-up in as we could,” said Rioux. “It’ll be nice to get back into a rhythm with night games.”

After spending the last few seasons at Riverside Field, Rioux is excited about the atmosphere that was present at the Mt. Ararat High School that should make its way back to home soccer matches.

Installation of the new trackat Mt. Ararat High School is all but finished. Eli Canfield/The Times Record

“We haven’t played a home night game in years. I have no players who have experienced that,” he said. “We’re excited to be back on campus, have those games with a crowd, and bring that atmosphere back that we had.”

Construction has moved along at a quick pace, Godo said. The turf was delivered Aug. 19 with FieldTurf beginning construction the following day.

“Next week will consist of getting the lights and scoreboard powered up and testing everything out before the season,” Godo said.

As for the field, lines will be permanently painted all over to accommodate soccer, field hockey, football, and lacrosse fields. Lines will be painted to outline the sidelines of an eight-man football field, which is shorter in width than the traditional 11-man field.

“It’s going to accommodate everyone, but right now it’s designed as an 11-man football field,” said Godo.

A new scoreboard overlooks the turf field at Mt. Ararat High School. Eli Canfield/The Times Record

On Tuesday, FieldTurf was outlining the hash marks for football while Main Line Fencing was installing the fence around the walking path on the outside of the track. The scoreboard stands tall beyond the north end zone, while six light towers are in place for night games.

A blue and red Mt. Ararat Eagle logo is set to be painted on and around the 50-yard line. Approximately 500 people can sit on both bleachers on each side of the field, while a press box stands above the home side bleachers.

Godo said the school plans to hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Sept. 17. People will be allowed to check out the turf field from up close during the event before the football team hosts Gray-New Gloucester that evening.

“It will make for a fun upcoming season,” he said.

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