INDIAN HILL, Ohio — Cincinnati Country Day School can't wait to begin a new chapter for its athletics program starting Friday night.
The school will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 6:40 p.m. Friday to recognize the $3.75 million renovation of Country Day Stadium.
"It looks completely different," said Cincinnati Country Day School athletic director Dennis Coyle, who is the school's head football coach. "Just a great upgrade for our campus."
The Nighthawks' football team plays Manchester at 7 p.m. in the season opener.
The renovation project includes a multi-sport synthetic turf field, home seating for more than 530 fans, with an integrated press box, and visitor bleachers for 130 fans.
A six-lane track is in the process of being completed.
There is also a digital scoreboard, modern light-emitting diode (LED) lighting and sound system along with a remodeled athletics entry with outdoor learning spaces. The project also includes a lower school play area, too.
The capital project was primarily funded by five families and work on the stadium renovation began in fall 2020. The families and donors will be recognized Friday night.
"It's amazing how it all came together," said Coyle. "It's just so exciting and so important for our school."
Football, soccer, track and field, baseball, softball, lacrosse and cross country teams will all be able to utilize the field either now or at some point in the future.
"I think it's wonderful, not just as the football coach, and I'm excited about our team, but for all the teams that have never played in our stadium or have never played a home game under the lights," Coyle said. "I think it's going to be great for the community."
The CCDS girls soccer team has made three consecutive Division III state championship game appearances, winning the 2018 and 2019 titles.
CCDS, which returns 10 starters, previously played on Alamin Athletic Field – a grass field – at the front of campus. It did not have permanent seating or lights.
Being able to play under the lights is another opportunity for the soccer programs and the families who support those teams to attend games in later hours instead of the late afternoons.
CCDS girls soccer coach Theresa Hirschauer said the players can't wait to take the field for the season opener at 6:15 p.m. Tuesday against McNicholas. The team returns 10 starters and has plenty of talent entering this season.
"The kids are super, super pumped," Hirschauer said.
"For me, after living the life of 20 years being in the athletic department, it's such a long time coming. It's such a great thing for our community. It will help us just because we play so many teams that play on the turf. It was always hard to train all the time on grass and then play your games on turf because of speed of play."
Hirschauer, a 2019 national girls soccer coach of the year, is in her 32nd year at the school and is a strong believer in the impact of interscholastic athletics for student-athletes.
"There is nothing better than watching kids be able to be their best version of themselves inside and outside the classroom," Hirschauer said. "When you have facilities, it allows them to be their best version of themselves."