Dietz Stadium renovations make Kingston faculty groups directors get inventive

The Kingston Metropolis College District closed out its fall sports activities season just a few weeks in the past, together with quite a few video games at Dietz Stadium. Over the summer time, Kingston Stockade FC performed its 2022 season on the turf at Dietz. Each the college district and semi-pro soccer group will probably be unable to entry the venerable stadium once more for no less than a yr, probably 18 months, as a significant $18.7 million renovation mission will get underway.

The bold renovation plan seeks to retain the character of the historic stadium, whereas modernizing and upgrading different areas, together with a brand new subject turf and monitor floor, a scoreboard with high-definition video, upgraded audio, grandstand repairs and upgrades, new locker rooms, and an entrance to the sector that may enable gamers to entry locker rooms with out having to stroll across the constructing. A brand new concession stand and upgraded press field are additionally within the works.

Additionally included within the plans are renovations to the Andretta Pool facility.

For the Kingston Metropolis College District and Stockade FC alike, the renovations are very welcome. However in addition they current an issue: The place to play and apply whereas the work is happening? For the KCSD, solutions to these questions got here into higher focus throughout a gathering of the Board of Schooling held on Wednesday, November 16.

Director of Bodily Schooling, Well being and Athletics Richard Silverstein defined that sports activities are a giant deal throughout the district, notably between varsity, junior varsity and modified sports activities. In line with Silverstein, throughout each the autumn and spring sports activities seasons, Kingston has round 1,000 scholar athletes; that quantity drops to round 600 within the winter season.

Winter sports activities at Kingston Excessive College aren’t impacted by the Dietz closure, with all however snowboarding happening indoors. However Dietz is residence to a number of fall and spring sports activities packages, together with soccer, subject hockey, lacrosse, and monitor and subject.

“Simply to place this in perspective, with Dietz Stadium closing, we will be shedding about 125 occasions a yr,” stated Silverstein.

KCSD Superintendent Paul Padalino stated the district is exclusive in how faraway its sports activities packages are. Along with Dietz Stadium, video games and practices are held at center and elementary colleges throughout the district.

“I do not suppose everybody actually realizes is how poor land we’re as a college district,” Padalino stated. “It is very uncommon to have a highschool that has no fields…And even with Dietz Stadium, we transport college students everywhere in the metropolis, throughout our district for practices and occasions. So shedding Dietz, an endeavor of this degree is mostly a monumental job.”

That job was detailed by Silverstein and Matt Urcioli, assistant director of athletics and bodily schooling lead instructor.

M. Clifford Miller Center College and the adjoining ER Crosby Elementary College already characteristic sports activities fields utilized by Kingston Excessive, together with Gruner Discipline, residence of the Tigers’ baseball group, which will even host subject hockey. At Miller and Crosby, Outdated Burke Discipline would be the residence of modified softball; Fields 1 and a couple of will characteristic boys lacrosse and soccer, with the previous additionally the location of cross nation; Discipline 3 will even characteristic soccer, women lacrosse, and women flag soccer; Discipline 4 will welcome each soccer and women lacrosse; Discipline 5 would be the residence of varsity women lacrosse and modified soccer.

In the meantime, at Chambers Elementary College, there will probably be soccer and subject hockey within the fall, and monitor and subject within the spring, together with a devoted coaching spot, in addition to an remoted shot put and discus space. Softball, each varsity and JV, will even occur at Chambers.

Urcioli defined that due to insufficient lighting, some sports activities that are historically performed on the identical subject with varsity occurring after JV will now be performed concurrently on adjoining fields. There will probably be some transportable lighting, in addition to transportable scoreboards. And he added that the district is already aerating and seeding in preparation for the extra use of a number of the fields.

“We have got to get the grass prepared, get the roots robust,” Urcioli stated. “As a result of we do not need the inexperienced to get turned up, making it ugly.”

However the district has been unable to search out the area inside its personal boundaries for all the things: A big annual spring monitor and subject occasion hosted by Kingston at Dietz Stadium will as a substitute happen at FDR Excessive College in Hyde Park. And residential video games for the 2023 Kingston Tigers’ varsity soccer group will probably be performed at Rondout Valley Excessive College, with all these video games being performed on Saturday afternoons as Rondout historically performs its residence video games on Friday nights.

“Everyone knows there are going to be bumps, there are going to be hiccups, we will must make changes, and there are going to be alternatives for us to enhance as we undergo it,” Padalino stated. “However we’re utilizing mainly each a part of this district that has a blade of grass on it to search out locations for our college students to play, and we will do it.”

Two days later, Padalino addressed one other Kingston Excessive custom that will probably be impacted by the Dietz Stadium closure: The KHS Class of 2023 graduation ceremony will doubtless happen in one other faculty district.

“Proper now we’re chatting with a number of totally different locations to see if we will perhaps use their location,” Padalino stated. “I do not wish to say which, as a result of I do know the folks we’re speaking to most likely have not spoken to their (College) Boards about it but. We’re anticipating probably utilizing one among our neighbours’ stadiums shut by, perhaps offering some shuttle service for folks.”

Padalino stated he hoped to have the ability to have a extra definitive reply in regards to the commencement ceremony by the College Board assembly scheduled for Wednesday, December 14.

In the meantime, Kingston Stockade FC has been calling Dietz Stadium residence since its inaugural season in 2016. The Nationwide Premier Soccer League membership just lately despatched out a survey to its mailing record asking how far they’d be prepared to journey for the 2023 season, which takes place within the thick of summer time. Among the many choices had been Accord, Poughkeepsie, and Dutchess County, which Stockade Chairman Dennis Crowley stated was meant to point someplace throughout the Kingston Rhinecliff Bridge.

“Individuals are very supportive of Duchess, which I interpreted as Rhinebeck or happening to Poughkeepsie,” Crowley stated. “And so if we will work out a method to do this, I feel that is nice, as a result of I feel that the standard of the stadiums [are] a bit bit greater.”

Crowley stated there are different concerns the membership is trying into to try to approximate its friendly-but-feisty Dietz ambiance, together with meals vehicles and the Keegan Ales beer tent. Different Stockade FC followers have confirmed they present up for video games away from Dietz.

“I am certain the Dutch Guard (supporters group) will probably be there,” Crowley stated. “They’re going to be as loud as they usually are, and I feel they will journey wherever we find yourself going. And I feel that we’ll by default get no less than half as many followers as we usually have.”

Crowley additionally sees this upcoming semi-nomadic journey as a possibility.

“The group is the Kingston Stockade: We play in Kingston and Kingston is our residence,” Crowley stated. “However I take a look at the info from who buys the season passes, and there is folks actually everywhere in the Hudson Valley that come up. And so I feel there’s a possibility if we had been a bit bit nearer to followers by being a bit bit additional south, even only for one season that you could get this actually good emotional attachment after which carry these folks again as much as Dietz the following season …And if it permits us to inform a giant story about not simply Kingston, however about your entire Hudson Valley, and this can be a Valley group and that is most likely the largest and finest group within the Hudson Valley. I feel that is an awesome story.”

Just like the KCSD, Stockade FC is trying ahead to enhancements at its residence turf.

“What I feel generally we take without any consideration how excellent Dietz is by way of hitting all the necessities for the league, from a scoreboard with a working clock to locker rooms with showers, to having a fence round that has a number of factors of egress, to an American flag. I imply it is a laundry record of 20 issues that your stadium has to have,” Crowley stated. “And in 2016, I keep in mind earlier than we launched the membership being like, wow, Dietz amazingly has all of this stuff. And for those who’ve traveled to different NPSL stadiums, you notice that is uncommon {that a} stadium will tick off all the containers…However the stadium is badly in want of upgrades and that is going to be an awesome factor, not only for us, however for everybody who makes use of the stadium.”

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