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Boise High used to share fields with public parks. It now has field(s) of dreams

Boise High held a dedication ceremony for its new athletic complex on Saturday, August 25.
Boise High held a dedication ceremony for its new athletic complex on Saturday, August 25. mkatz@idahostatesman.com

Carson Cadwell admitted it will take some getting used to having a new home field. But it’s a change he’s happy to make.

Cadwell, a senior soccer player at Boise High School, spent his prior years practicing at Sunset Park and playing games at Willow Lane Park, each nearly 3 miles and upward of 10 minutes away from the school itself.

On Saturday, the Braves prepped for a game against Highland High; this time, however, the practice and game fields were less than a mile away from campus, at the Boise High Athletics Complex, located at Fort Boise.

“It’s been nice finally being able to have our own sports complex and a field that we can actually call our own home field,” Cadwell said.

Though the Braves were prepping for their third game of the season, Boise High held a dedication ceremony Saturday afternoon between a doubleheader of girls and boys soccer against Highland.

Principal Robb Thompson, school and district administrators, and student-athletes stood at midfield and cut a ceremonial red ribbon with a pair of customary oversized scissors.

A total of two soccer fields (one for games and one for practice), a junior varsity/junior high football field and a junior varsity softball diamond were constructed on land that was previously the district’s facilities and and operations yard. That complex was vacated when the district opened a new operations office on Gowen Road.

The cost of the fields was $4-5 million, according to district spokesman Dan Hollar. Funding came from the district’s plant facility fund. Construction of the complex began more than 18 months ago.

Because of its location in the middle of downtown, Boise High has just 11.5 acres of land and a single field for athletics, Thompson said. Other schools with similar athletic programs have anywhere from 20 to 50 acres of land, he said.

Boise’s new athletic complex is approximately 14 acres.

“We’re landlocked,” Thompson said. “We just had a need for space for our teams. It’s just awesome that the district and the Board of Trustees put in the resources to do it.”

While not part of the $172.5 million bond projects taking place over the next decade within the district, Boise High’s new fields, located at 300 West Fort Street, were welcomed. Boise High’s gymnasium is being renovated as part of the bond project and is scheduled to open in spring 2019.

“We have stands that will hold more than 50 people and two nice, big soccer fields, and the setting is great,” boys soccer coach Mike Darrow said. “It’s perfect.”

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