QUEENSBURY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A pile of dirt atop a layer of snow may have been more symbolic than practical, but for Queensbury Union Free School District, Wednesday morning would have been a big day regardless of the weather. The school district broke ground on a new sports project, one gold shovel at a time, after years of planning and hard work.

“Today is a special day,” said district Superintendent Kyle Gannon, speaking in front of students, faculty and other supporters in front of the future home of the school’s new turf field. “It’s taken a long time – 3 years of planning – to get to this point.”

Wednesday’s groundbreaking marks the first step on the way to a new home for Queensbury’s athletics. The school’s new sports home will include softball and baseball fields; a multi-sport field emblazoned with the school’s “Spartans” team name; and a new and improved grandstand.

The planned new turf field at Queensbury Union Free School District in Queensbury, N.Y.

When Gannon talks about the amount of time and work it’s taken to get here, he means it. The field is part of a $19 million capital project approved by town voters in late 2021, billed alongside crucial work to a pool and roofing. Some at the school have pushed for improvements like these for nearly two decades.

“This is my 19th year on the board, and I think 18 years I’ve been asking for a turf field for our student athletes,” said Queensbury School Board Vice President Tim Weaver. “It’s here – it’s great – it’s going to be great for all our fall and spring athletes.”

The turf is intended for use by school sports and teams across the campus’ elementary, middle and high school teams, including boys and girls teams. The school intends for the turf to be ready for play this fall.

At the moment of groundbreaking, school faculty and project planners stood alongside some of Queensbury’s own high school students. Each held a shovel, save for one passed between students – from senior to junior, then to sophomore, then finally freshman. The school’s pep band and Madrigal chorus performed before the gold-lined shovels ventured into the soil where the district’s athletes will play this fall.

Athletics have been a big talking point for Warren County’s largest school district in recent months. The district recently put out a call for prospective members of its new sports hall of fame project.