Event Pictorials
 
MCAFEE (Condon) FIELD (NEW - mid_SEPT)
September 11, 2011
Condon Athletic Field is undergoing major changes, including its name. In January, 2009, The Hancock Public School System agreed to relinquish ownership of Condon Field, to Finlandia University, in return for 12 years of free tuition at Finlandia fo Hancock High School graduates wishing to attend. This coming years Class (2012) will have a $300K cap, the remaining 8 years will have a $400K cap. Some 50% of graduating students have taken advantage of the program. This spring saw a formal name change to McAfee Field, in honor of a major benefactor, Alexander “Sandy” McAfee. The former High School (later Middle School) building also changed hands to Finlandia University in the same agreement.
FINLANDIA UNIVERSITY WEB: CLICK HERE
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HISTORICAL PICTORIAL: CLICK HERE
 
A number of major changes are occurring. The current football field is changing from an E/W orientation, to a N/S layout. It will be enlarged to accommodate regulation soccer play, and will have a synthetic playing surface (the same as MTUs). A softball field will be constructed on the south side of the complex, and a new Field House and Grandstand will be constructed between the two. Lights will also be added to both fields for evening games, something here-to-for not available. A practice football field in also in future plans. Track and field events will also be held here. (Image by Finlandia University). Finlandia University hopes to start up a Division III football program in 2015, and already competes in soccer. Three tennis courts will also be constructed on the south side of the complex, replacing a singe court earlier. A non-inhabited portion of Anthony Street was abandoned in April. 2009, by the City, to aid in development plans. (Image by Finlandia University). Dr. Phillip Johnson, President of Finlandia University, speaks to the crowd on Sept. 23, during the formal Dedication Ceremony for McAfee Field. The occasion was the Hancock High vs. Calumet High football game on the new field. The on-field guests included Hancock City Officials, Finlandia Univ. personnel, and community and civic leaders. CAMPUS and COMMUNITY: TOGETHER for GOOD. An end view of the new McAfee Field, during warm up action before the Hancock High School varsity game against Northland Pines, on Friday,September 9, their first game on the new artificial turf. Hancock High enjoyed being the first action on the Field.
Team Captains meet and shake hands prior to game action. Hancock High Principal John Sanregret (L), and Finlndia University Athletic Director Chris Salani look on at left. The new scoreboard is visible left center background. The new tennis courts are under construction as well, and are expected to be completed in the spring of 2012. The fund raising drive for construction of the new Field House and Grandstand, as well as the football practice field and the softball field, continues, with hopes for completion in 2012. PREVIOUSLY …..... In this end of field view, the new Finlandia Lions logo has now been put on each end of the new Field. Very small rubber/foam pieces are being injected into the new artificial covering, to make a better contact protection from the gravel base underneath.
Alexander “Sandy” McAfee, addresses a gathering at the new Field in late August. He was a major benefactor in the planning and construction of the new field, and was afforded the honor of having the Field named after him. He served for a period of years on the Finlandia Board of Directors. [ Photo: Karen Johnson/Finlandia University ]. PEVIOUSLY …. By late in July, field preparation now includes a concrete perimeter, and crushed gravel fill, the new light poles and floodlights are in, and the grandstand temporary seating and press boxes are in place that will be used until the new Grandstand/Field House is built, as funding becomes available. Pro Turf is now on scene and the new artificial turf panels (in the white rolls) are being moved onto the field for installation. During the first week of August, the Pro Turf crews begin the process of laying out the individual panels, and getting them into position. The panels need to be stretched out fully before the next process. Next, using a motorized stitching machine, the two adjacent panels are sewn together, before the top upside down panel is flipped over, and crews then move onto the next one.
MJO Contracting crews meanwhile, are also busy with further landscaping, and sub contractors arrive to put in a fully surrounding chain link fence. By the second week of August, most of the football portion of the field has its initial artificial cover in place. This wide view also shows the area where the practice football field will be built, as funding becomes available, on the north side of the complex. Watching over operations is Finlandia Athletic Director Chris Salani (L), and Facility and Game Event Manager Curtis Wittenberg. The frame for the new McAfee Field sign is put into place the beginning of the third week of August.
Also, the expanded area that will make up the regulation size soccer field get its Pro Turf cover as well, and stitching in of the yardage markers, end zone markers, and sideline markers is ongoing. Shortly, the stitching in of the Finlandia logos in the end zones, and other specialized lettering and characters will begin. This will then be followed by the insertion of the sand/foam mixture into the artificial turf for ground padding. PREVIOUSLY ---- Mid May, 2011, brought a big step in what is being called: “Campus and Community: Coming Together For Good”, when a ground breaking ceremony was held at the site. Finlandia University President Dr. Phillip Johnson is at far right. ( Photo courtesy of Karen Johnson/Finlandia University). By late May, original buildings and stands have been moved, and the entire area is being leveled and readied for construction. This photo looks south. MJO Contracting, INC., Hancock, is the primary contractor for the project. Another view from the NW, as site layout continues.
By late June, the Field/parking lot retaining wall is complete, as viewed from the SE corner on Forest St. And the parking area curbs and gutters are nearing completion as well. By the middle of July, the new football/soccer field is well along in layout, with light standard bases now in place. The original Condon Field locker rooms building continues to occupy a place on the east end of the Main Field. The current grandstand and press boxes will be temporarily used to allow 2011 season High School football games to be played here, and is now in place. The new Field House will be constructed around the grandstand.
             
           
 
[ Unless otherwise noted, photos by: Roland Burgan r-burgan@charter.net ].
 
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