By: Cameron Kemme
You never realize the importance of something until it is gone. That’s what students and physical education teachers are realizing after the stands at Midwood Field were condemned and are now being renovated.
According to Principal Mr. Allen Barge, Midwood Field will be closed for the duration of the school year and then some as they renovate the stands to make it compliant with the American Disabilities Act, and also replace the turf.
“I imagine it would be quite some time until we can use the field,” said Mr. Barge.
Murrowites can’t escape the effects of the closure, because it bounds classes such as football and soccer to non-optimal conditions. That’s because these classes, which are usually held outside, are forced to be inside.
Senior Matthew Thien, who takes an indoor gym class currently, was deeply upset with the status of the field.
“I was really looking forward to taking a new gym class,” said Thien. “You know Murrow is known for its diverse array of gym classes and this field closure really kills what makes Murrow unique in its Phys. Ed program.”
Teachers also are having a hard time coming to terms with the closure.
“There certainly was a reduction in the number of options Murrowites were provided this semester, with a shortage of basketball classes since other classes have to use Gym 1-A,” said physical education teacher Mr. Lawrence Blatt.
Mr. Blatt, however, said he understands why a field closure is necessary.
“The track is new but the turf is eight years old and has to be replaced,” he said. “However, basically every other part of the field is almost 80 years old not. The bleachers and bathrooms are certainly not (American with Disabilities Act) compliant with wheelchair bound citizens prevented from watching team games.”
Mr. James Cunningham, the AP of Physical Education, said there was really nothing the Murrow administration could do about the closure.
“This closure had to have happened eventually, and the department of education is in full control of the project and to how long it will last,” said Mr. Cunningham.
Mr. Cunningham did, however, clarify that there wasn’t necessarily a reduction in gym classes, despite popular belief. In fact, tennis and handball courts right next to the field are still open for use. But when they finish the stands, they will the close the courts and renovate them.
“I don’t think there was a reduction in classes, the shortages I find are from students not selecting classes that are disrupted by the field,” Mr. Cunningham said.
Mr. Cunningham did leave open the possibility for the reopening of classes after the renovation.
“As soon as the field is ready to use we will certainly reopen the classes” he said.
However gym classes weren’t the only things cut. The next two senior classes will miss out on a full blown Murrow Bowl, a full senior picture and other Murrow traditions, settling for indoor events instead.
The field’s closure also effects Midwood High School, whose sports teams, including its football squad, can’t practice or play on the field.