The expansive athletic field at the center of campus was originally farmland tended by the Carr Family. Procured by the school in the 1950s, the space was identified as a prime site for baseball diamonds. The November 26, 1957 edition of The Proctor Press leads with this article: "A new athletic field is to be built for use in the spring of 1959. It will take about a year to build. The cost of the field will be from $3,000 to $5,000....This new athletic field will be a great help to Proctor's athletic teams in the future." Construction commenced November 14, 1957.
A festive crowd gathered for the dedication of Farrell Field in the spring of 1959.
Farrell Field served Proctor baseball, soccer, lacrosse, and--eventually--field hockey teams for 53 years. Perhaps the most significant contest in Farrell Field history was played September 30, 2011. Its importance had nothing to do with the score; (girls' varsity soccer lost to KUA 2-0.) But hundreds of students, faculty, parents, alumni and friends of the school witnessed the benefits of a contest played under lights we had rented for a night game.
Irrepressible momentum was generated for the construction of a new field at Farrell Field. A capital fundraising initiative succeeded in identifying $1,900,000, and construction is underway for the installation of two state-of-the-art synthetic playing fields surrounding a natural turf softball diamond. In this schematic rendering, Farrell Fieldhouse is left; Teddy Maloney '88 Rink is upper left; Burbank House is top; Peabody House and the Health Center are right and Proctor Pond is bottom right.
The north (top) field will be an NCAA-sized field hockey/boys' lacrosse surface. The east field--also NCAA-sized--will serve soccer and girls' lacrosse, with the option of being lined for football. With 350' of length and 200' width, the total synthetic surface of the north field will be 70,000 feet. At 380' by 245', the east field will be 93,100 feet. The sum of 163,100' computes to 3.744 acres. Today, the site is in the earthwork and drainage phase, and is on schedule for completion in time for pre-season camps in September.
Athletic Director Gregor Makechnie '90 comments, "Our new fields will serve 190 field hockey, soccer and football athletes in the fall and 130 softball, baseball and lacrosse athletes in the spring. All-weather synthetic surfaces provide reliable, consistent footing and the ability to train and compete in any weather condition. Further, the fields can be plowed, ensuring outdoor practice and play when we return from Project Period in late March. The lighted field will energize and strengthen our community by affording opportunities to gather in the evenings to rally around teams, or for intramural activities such as Whiffle Ball and Frisbee games. Additionally, the fields will appeal to a broad array of admission applicants, which is critical in the increasingly competitive landscape of the boarding school marketplace."
Baseball will be relocated to the south end of Carr Field, and softball will return to campus after decades of reliance on the Town's facilities. This mound of screened loam--once farmed by the Carr Family--will be applied to the outfield.
"If you build it, they will come..." Field of Dreams.
The dedication stone is unveiled!
Lyle Farrell at the dedication of Farrell Field.
Alice and Lyle Farrell pose at the plaque dedicating Farrell Field.
Assistant Headmaster Earnest Sherman takes a swing at an inaugural softball game on Farrell Field in 1959.
Farrell Field and Farrell Fieldhouse in the early '70s.
The old field hockey field is being leveled to the new grade, which will be established by a laser-guided earth-mover.
Soil once tilled by the Carr Family will be replaced as the softball outfield.