Cardinal Spellman High School has reached a new milestone to add to its significant history in the Bronx, with the addition of a newly renovated field.
The new field, named Monsignors’ Field, is the first major reconstruction and renovation of the outdoor space since over 40 years ago, when designed with the original structure.
“The field they had was the original grass field,” said John Farrell, teacher at CSHS. “It was muddy in the rain and dry in drought, they needed something to stand up better.”
The new field features synthetic turf, rather than grass, to be more durable through the elements and seasons.
The space features two regulation fields, instead of the one field once shared by all sports teams, causing conflict and confusion for the students. Each sport now has its own area for individual play during its designated season.
Monsignors’ Field includes areas for soccer, football, baseball, softball, and a six-lane track. The field may even become home to a lacrosse team, rumored to be in the early stages of development at CSHS.
The re-dedication ceremony was held on Sunday, November 2, at 2 p.m., following a morning Mass and brunch, which all alumni and Spellman associates were invited to attend.
“The mass was very well attended, the chapel was full in fact,” said President of CSHS, Reverend Trevor Nicholls, “then a good turnout for the brunch and a good turnout for the afternoon. The weather favored us and all went well, about 150 people showed up and were by large alumni.”
The name of the field, Monsignors’ Field, is in honor of three individuals that had a profound impact on the school; Spellman’s first principal, Msgr. John P. Breheny, founder of The Campaign for Cardinal Spellman, Inc., Msgr. Jeremiah P. Monahan, and the school’s first president, Msgr. James P. Sullivan.
Funding for the project came from the Foundation Board of Cardinal Spellman High School, with a significant contribution of $ 1,000,000, from Daniel S. O’Connell and his wife Gloria, members of The Campaign for Cardinal Spellman High School Foundation, Inc. This organization is geared towards addressing the growing needs of the school for capital improvement and scholarship assistance.
“Obviously we are tremendously grateful to those who gave the money and to the whole campaign and foundation board for their support,” said Rev. Nicholls. “The plaque we have prepared will honor Daniel and Gloria O’Connell and Steven and Ann McGuiness, but we would also like to thank Mr. Richard Nardi, our lawyer, and Mr. Jay Jennings, the project manger.”
The most important affect of this new field will be the profound opportunities it will grant for the current and future students who walk through Spellman’s halls.
“As far as I can tell the student body are extremely enthusiastic because we can accommodate all our sports and they are very pleased,” said Rev. Nicholls.