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Latrobe's new sports complex on track for winter finish; football field to be ready in fall

| Tuesday, July 9, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Guy Wathen | Tribune-Review
Construction continues on Greater Latrobe High School's new athletic complex on July 3, 2013.
Guy Wathen | Tribune-Review
Construction continues on Greater Latrobe High School's new athletic complex on July 3, 2013.
Guy Wathen | Tribune-Review
Construction continues on Greater Latrobe High School's new athletic complex on July 3, 2013.
Guy Wathen | Tribune-Review
Construction continues on Greater Latrobe High School's new athletic complex on July 3, 2013.
Guy Wathen | Tribune-Review
Construction continues on Greater Latrobe High School's new athletic complex on July 3, 2013.

As Greater Latrobe School District Superintendent Judy Swigart surveyed the construction of the new athletic complex behind the high school on July 3, she turned to the small group assembled and said, “I can't wait to see the eyes of the athletes and former athletes when they see this.”

Construction of the more than $9 million project is 50 percent completed, according to Latrobe clerk of the works Kurt Thomas, who oversees the project. Phase I of the project is expected to be completed in time for the start of fall sports training camps.

Despite the rainy weather the past month, the project remains on schedule and is expected to be complete in mid-December.

The football, soccer, cross country, girls tennis and field hockey teams will be the first to benefit from the new facility, which includes Pro Grass Spirit turf, lights, a press box and a 2,000-plus-seat stadium. The new stadium sits on the old football practice field. It also will have an six-lane running track and a fifth tennis court. A new cross country course will be added before the first practice date, Aug. 12.

Varsity football games and some track meets, soccer and field hockey games will be played at Memorial Stadium.

“The new facility will provide more of a campus-like atmosphere for our students,” Swigart said. “Our students won't have to find transportation to Memorial Stadium to watch their friends play games.

“I didn't think we had the space, but we created space. They moved a lot of dirt. This school was built in 1967 and so were the practice facilities. It was time to update them.”

The new locker room and weight room facility, which sits between the stadium and the new lighted turf baseball and softball fields, will be completed by the end of the year and ready for the spring.

“I've already told North Allegheny athletic director Bob Bozutto that this year's baseball game will start at 7 p.m. at our new field,” Latrobe athletic director Mark Mears said. “It's going to make scheduling games and practices a lot easier.”

The new facility also can be used for the school's physical education classes.

“It's an exciting time around here,” Mears said. “We met with all the coaches, and they gave us input on what they'd like to see. We used a lot of their suggestions.”

Paul Schofield is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at pschofield@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Schofield_Trib.

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