EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Haverhill

March 2, 2014

Raiders getting a field of their own

Central Catholic High plans $2M sports complex

(Continued)

The campaign to raise the $2 million started in late October and will continue through the summer. So far, the school has raised $954,000 in cash and pledges, said David DeFillippo, director of community relations at the school. He said the campaign has received several donations of $100,000 from alumni.

“It has given us a great start,” he said.

Groundbreaking for the field will be in April and the project will be completed by September 2014, school officials said.

“We know it is an ambitious effort, but it can be done,” DeFillippo said.

Central Catholic will begin a public campaign called “Pave the way for the new field.” Contributors can purchase bricks, which will be part of the walkway leading to the field, DeFillippo said.

Carey said the initiative’s name — “Our Raiders’ Field of Dreams” — is appropriate.

“When someone has a dream and it comes true, it’s a great thing,’’ he said. “It’s been a long time coming.’’

Central Principal Doreen Keller agreed.

“The most exciting thing is that the students will be able to have home games on campus and they’ll truly be home games,” she said. “It will provide athletes with the support of spirited fans.”

Keller said that in addition to sporting events, the field will be used for things like physical education classes, reunions, and parents and alumni events.

The project will include drainage construction and relocation of underground utilities such as electricity, cable, telephone and Internet service, DiFillippo said.

Current Central students have contributed to the drive to raise money for the field. They donated the $132,000 raised during the school’s annual walkathon to the project. That was 30 percent more than last year’s walkathon total.

“We want to keep the legacy alive,” said senior Tyler Andrade of Lawrence, secretary of the school’s student council. “This is something we wanted to see for a long time and we wanted to give to the future because we care about Central Catholic so much.”

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