After seven years of waiting, the students of Franklin Delano Roosevelt High School and members of the community finally have an athletic field to call their own.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony heralded the opening of the new field, a multimillion-dollar investment that began as a dream by the staff of FDR, including Head Coach Paul Klyap, Principal Steve Demarco and former Principal Geraldine Maione, who were all in attendance, supported by Councilmember David Greenfield. A total of $3 million in funding for the project had been allocated by Greenfields predecessor, former City Councilmember Simcha Felder, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Greenfield.
The 50-yard practice field is a vast improvement from what previously occupied the space: an unused asphalt lot. The new field will allow the home football team to practice on their own campus instead of traveling to neighboring fields as they have been doing for seven years. It will also be the site for the games of all the athletic teams and physical education classes at the school.
Everyone attending the ceremony had high hopes for the future of the field.
The students spirits have been tremendously uplifted having some place to call own, Demarco said. We will still carry on the wish of Geraldine Maione. The field will be open to the community, he added, alluding to the promise Maione made that the field would be a community fixture as well as a school enterprise.
Greenfield was similarly enthusiastic about the effect the new field will have on the student body and the community.
The community is very interested in the success of the school. Its not just of FDR that the whole community is proud. Its rare to see a government project come to completion and Im glad to help it, he said. This is beneficial not just to the school but the community.