Torrisi said he expects the school will have no difficulty raising the rest of the money needed for the project.
Central Catholic was founded by the Marist Brothers in 1935 as an all-boys high school. It became coed in 1996, after St. Mary High, an all-girls school, closed. Central has 1,330 students who come from 53 local communities as well as China, Korea, Vietnam and Switzerland.
DeFillippo said Central’s Board of Directors and school administrators unveiled the field plan to faculty members, students and their families earlier this school year.
Huntress Associates, Inc. of Andover is the field architect and designer and Gino Baroni, who graduated from Central Catholic in 1974, is project manager. He owns Trident Project Advisers and Development Group of Salem, N.H. The company worked with Central Catholic in 2007 on its Marion Avenue and Athletic Facilities Project with the city to improve pedestrian and student safety, traffic, water quality, and recreational opportunities along the Spicket River.
“As our athletic program has grown since we became coed, the demand for facilities has pressed us to the limit for a number of years,” DeFillippo said. “This seems like the appropriate time (to build) because of the crying need.”
The field will support Central Catholic’s already powerful athletic program.
The hockey team is playing against Austin Prep today in the Super 8 at the TD Garden in Boston. The football team won the Division 1 state title at Gillette Stadium last fall and the girls basketball team took home the Division 1 state title last year.
“We had to do something to reward them for their excellent performance,’’ DeFillippo said of providing the new field to students. “We felt the need was more acute than it has ever been and we needed to address it. That is why the board of directors and administrators put it on the front burner.”