By Gord Bowes, News staff
There could be a dome over St. Jean de Brebeuf’s artificial turf field when it is installed next year.
The Catholic school board is in talks with a couple of sports organization about putting a roof over the new playing surface so it can be used year-round, said Ward 7 trustee and board chair Pat Daly.
“The discussions are still ongoing,” he said, but will be finalized before construction on the field begins.
Daly declined to identify which group or groups the board is in discussion with. He said the talks include sharing of construction and rental costs at the Acadia Drive school.
The artificial turf field will be going out to tender soon, said Daly. Work will begin in late spring and the field will be ready for the start of the 2014-15 school year.
Work should take about three months to complete.
“We would have lost the whole football season if we had started now,” said Daly.
He added the construction would have conflicted with the school’s 40th anniversary celebration, including this Friday’s homecoming football game. The tender for the field will be designed in such a way that the possible dome could be accommodated, he said.
If the board decides to go ahead with the dome, Daly said, it would have to determine whether to go with a permanent structure or an inflatable one that can be used as shelter from poor weather for about half the year beginning sometime in November. Daly said in his view a seasonal dome would work better for the school because it would require less space.
The cost of the new field is about $1 million; the school’s is helping to pay through its own fundraising. Brebeuf’s field is the fourth Catholic high school in Hamilton to install artificial turf. St. Thomas More on the west Mountain was first, in 2011. Fields are currently being installed at Cardinal Newman and the new Bishop Ryan high school. A rubberized six-lane running track at St. Jean de Brebeuf was installed last year, replacing the old track.
Hamilton’s public school board recently decided it would look at artificial turf for its high schools.