The John M. Plevyak Field had its much anticipated opening April 4 when the Mount St. Joseph Gaels hosted top-ranked Gilman in MIAA A Conference lacrosse. Although the first contest ended in defeat for the home team, the opening of the new facility was a cause for celebration.
The field is part of an $18.5 million capital improvement project to upgrade the athletic facilities at the Irvington school. Construction continues in earnest on the project, which will be completed in three phases and ultimately includes the construction of a new gymnasium, as well as a refurbishment of the existing Memorial Gymnasium.
Situated in the same location as the school’s previous stadium, Plevyak Field features seating for 1,000, a new press box, a new synthetic turf field and state-of-the art track.
Another aspect of the new facility is a purple walking bridge, which connects the main academic buildings of the campus to the new athletic facilities. Its installation is underway.
The opening of the new field and stadium is exciting for the president of Mount St. Joseph, Brother James M. Kelly, C.F.X., who was eager to address the school’s aging athletic facilities, following the previous construction of a new library and other academic facilities.
“We needed to address the physical side of the campus after the spiritual and academic sides were completed,” said Brother James. “We, here at the Mount, educate the whole man in body, spirit and soul.”
A casualty of the project, however, will be the loss of St. Joe’s outdoor pool. The pool and the adjacent tennis courts sit on the site earmarked for the new gym, which will feature a trophy room and hall of fame. New tennis courts will be built in another location.
Among the donors is former St. Joe baseball great and current major leaguer Mark Teixeira. Teixeira, who plays for the Atlanta Braves, remains close to the St. Joe community and helped get the project rolling with a $1 million contribution.