By Jeff Werner
BRISTOL TOWNSHIP >> Conwell-Egan Catholic High School cut the ribbon on Saturday on its brand new synthetic turf field emblazoned with the school’s logo at Wistar Road and Queen Anne Drive.
The school broke ground in June on the project, which replaced the field’s natural grass with a state-of-the-art Sprinturf system for use by the school’s soccer and lacrosse programs as well as its physical education classes.
Prior to cutting the ribbon on the new facility, the school’s chaplain, Father Kyle Adamczyk blessed the field and school leaders extended their thanks to the people and companies that helped make the day possible.
“We stand here today with a synthetic turf field that will be a bright spot along this road for many years to come,” said CEC Athletics Director Patrick Donlen, who credited a long this of people who helped make the field a reality, from CLC Contractors to Tru-Line Fencing and attorney Tom Profy IV.
"Upgrading the turf is yet another enhancement to the CEC campus that improves the student experience and the community our school serves,” said Donlen. “Replacing the existing grass at CEC will benefit the community and our already stellar athletic program for years to come.”
Synthetic turf is known to provide many benefits, including reduced maintenance, the ability to have more efficient programming, consistent performance and a source of pride for the community.
The project included not only artificial turf, but new perimeter fencing and updated landscaping along Wistar Road and Queen Anne Drive.
The changes follow other major upgrades throughout the CEC campus, including the recently renovated counseling center, Chemistry lab, Center for Student Leadership, Academic Resource Center and the Grace Danaher Performing Arts Center.
“Improving these fields will be an asset for many students and generations to come, allowing for more efficient use of the facilities and providing a more durable, safer playing environment that will be one of the best in the area,” said CEC Principal Matthew Fischer. “This investment continues the strong momentum we have going at CEC, improving the overall quality of the student experience and investing in our athletic program in an exciting way.”
Construction of the field was completed in September just in time for girls and boys soccer, the school’s first sports group to use the new field.
Board chair and President Tom Lynch said it was just nine years ago that the school was declared dead and an announcement was made that it would close.
“It was a dark time for us,” he said. “But the entire CEC community rallied. We had done too much over our long history. And the community needs us today more than ever. We’re a community Catholic high school. We’re important to Bucks County. And our history shows we turn out outstanding graduates who make, in many different ways, tremendous contributions to the world.
“This is just the latest symbol of what transformation, winning and success is about at CEC. It’s a beautiful field,” said Lynch. “For 60 years this field has been in bad shape. So we thought we’d start here (with improvements to the school’s athletic fields) because more students use this field than any other. And because it’s a symbol of what is happening behind these walls.
“It’s a beautiful place,” said Lynch of the new field. “There’s already been some great activity out here. It has brought to life the spirit of the school. And there’s more to come,” he said.
“New programming launches this year in the field of engineering. We have a new engineering lab and a new engineering teacher.
“We’re on the move,” said Lynch. “We’re not trying to be the school for everybody. We’re trying to be the school for the kids who want to come here.”
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