Soybeans have been planted on the acreage were the other fields were to be built
Michael Walsh, the Diocese spokesman said today (Friday) "All funds raised from the previous campaign were applied directly to the construction of the Patrick Peyton Athletic Complex. Any donor wishing additional information may contact Gus Ostrum, Advancement Director, at (856) 456-4400, Extension 218.”
William E. Cleary Sr. | CNBNewsnet
DEPTFORD TOWNSHIP NJ--One of our subscribers recently asked what was happening with the $4 million Gloucester Catholic High School athletic field project being built on 75 acres in Deptford Township-Blackwood Barnsboro Road. The original plan called for an all-purpose stadium with a turf playing surface, locker room facilities, and a full complement of 11 other grass playing and practice fields with outdoor lighting. "These will support all our outdoor sports: football, soccer, baseball, softball, lacrosse and field hockey," said school officials.
“Over the weekend, we went to the site where the new GCHS athletic fields are to be built to check on the construction progress. We were disappointed to see soybeans planted on the major portion of the fields not being used yet. As far as I know none of the donors (like myself) have been kept updated on what’s going on since they had the dedication last year. Also, from my sources I was told that the committee members are also being kept in the dark. There has been no communication at all.”
“This whole thing is fishy to me. They may not have enough money to continue on the other side of Barnsboro Road yet (what they called Phase 2) but they didn’t tell the donors they would be farming it out for a Diocese of Camden tax break when they donated! Some of the donors aren’t too happy. Of course, there are other questions like who gets the money from the farming lease—the school or diocese?”
In response to the inquiry Michael Walsh, spokesperson for the Camden Diocese said,
“The Patrick Peyton Athletic Complex at Gloucester Catholic was dedicated and blessed on October 5, 2015, in Sewell, NJ. It includes The Bonner Family Soccer/Lacrosse Field, The Tom and Jane Woods Memorial Field sponsored by the Raspa Family, The Coniglio Family Soccer/Lacrosse Field, The Marie Iacavone Field Hockey Field and The Fran Iacovone Football Field.”
“The athletic fields project for Gloucester Catholic Junior Senior High School was originally established as a Phase 1 and 2 projects. Phase 1 included the building of the aforementioned fields. However, before completing the planning for phase 2, the school decided to refocus its resources on financial assistance for current and future students. With this in mind, the athletic field fundraising campaign transitioned to the Patrick Peyton Challenge Grant, specifically dedicated to scholarships and financial aid. Donors and parents were notified of this new initiative beginning in November 2015.”
“With respect to the property itself, the Phase 1 and Phase 2 lots comprise a land grant from the Diocese of Camden to Gloucester Catholic Junior Senior High School. The Diocese continues to own both lots of land, but granted use to the school for use as athletic fields.”
“The Phase 2 lot has been farmed for soybeans for many years, long before the athletic fields’ project was implemented. As Gloucester Catholic Junior Senior High School has decided to not use the Phase 2 lot for athletic field purposes, it will continue to be used for agricultural purposes,” Walsh concluded.
Gloucester Catholic's New Athletic Fields Complex will Open in the Fall; List of Donors Released
The plans to build the complex was announced five years ago in the summer of 2011. The Rams athletic campus was to be built on 75 acres in Deptford Township owned by the Camden Diocese. At the same time, there were rumors that the high school was going to move from Gloucester City to the same area as the athletic complex. However, officials said a new school was a “down-the-road project’” given the difficult economic climate.
The athletic campus was to be built in three phases over three to five years. Plans called for 11 fields, including a state-of-the-art stadium, and a clubhouse with locker rooms, restrooms, and a kitchen/concession area.
The second phase of the project was to include a state-of-the-art stadium and a clubhouse with locker rooms, restrooms, and a kitchen/concession area.
In the fall of that year, school principal John Colman released the following update on the school’s proposed $4 million athletic complex.
“On Tuesday night (November 2), we cleared a major hurdle when the Deptford Township Planning Board gave final approval for Phase 1 of our project, which will include multiple practice fields (soccer, football etc.) for our athletes. This enables us to schedule work on this site as soon as possible!
“The Board also gave us preliminary approval on phases 2 and 3, which means our engineering firm can begin environmental studies and plan other preliminary details on these phases of the project, which will include multiple varsities and sub-varsity fields.”
Gloucester Catholic High School is a co-educational six-year Roman Catholic high school located in Gloucester City, N.J. operating under the auspices of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Camden, serving students in seventh through twelfth grades.
As of the 2013-14 school year, the school had an enrollment of 658 students and 39.6 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 16.6:1.The school serves students from 50 parochial and public schools within the Diocese of Camden. (source Wikipedia)
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