CLAYTON – The Town of Clayton and Clayton High School celebrated the completion of a new artificial turf field at a home varsity football game on Friday, Sept. 17.
The new field is part of a partnership between the Town and the high school, which will help expand recreational and community involvement opportunities for both parties.
Scott Barnard, Clayton Parks and Recreation Director, and Dr. Bennett Jones, Principal at Clayton High School, and were instrumental in this collaboration. With the support of the Clayton Town Council and the Johnston County Board of Education, Clayton High School obtained a new artificial turf for its football field.
“This opportunity to collaborate with Johnston County Public Schools came together earlier this year and really expands our ability to meet the recreation needs of the community,” said Rich Cappola, Clayton Interim Town Manager.
The Town of Clayton and Clayton High School both believe that this upgrade will serve as a launchpad for community involvement, event hosting opportunities, and other facility improvement projects.
“Having this turf is going to open up so many more opportunities for people to use the field for various projects. This field can be used not only for football, but for soccer games, lacrosse, rugby, and youth tournaments,” said Dr. Jones. “It’s really just a mechanism for us to provide more opportunities, not only for our high school students but for our community at large.”
Within the partnership, Clayton Parks and Recreation can utilize Clayton High School facilities when they are vacant as compensation for Town funding. Access to high school facilities promises expansion and growth for Parks and Recreation programs.
“We felt like it was a win-win for everyone involved,” said Dr. Jones.
According to JCPS, the cost for the turf field is $870,756. As part of the shared agreement the Town contributed $500,000, along with Clayton Parks and Recreation covering the field maintenance costs.
“We’re very proud of the turf. We think it is going to be a tremendous attraction for others in the area. People will want to come to be a part of it and have the chance to play on it,” said Dr. Jones.
Installation of the turf began this summer and was completed just in time for the Sept. 17 game against Fuquay-Varina High School.