St. Anthony High School has announced plans to break ground on a new athletic field complex at Clark Field in 2021. The $9 million project has been in the works since 2011, but was able to move forward thanks to a $6 million donation from Shea Family Charities. The project will include a new turf football/soccer field, six-lane track, new bleachers, and additional facilities for both boys’ and girls’ sports programs.
“Shea Family Charities has a high level of interest in seeing the field renovation project realized for the long-term benefit of students and the greater school community,” said St. Anthony president Gina Rushing Maguire in a statement. “As St. Anthony celebrates its centennial year during the 2020-2021 school year, now is the perfect time to launch the building phase of this project and see it through to completion. We can’t wait to break ground in 2021!”
The site of the new complex, at the corner of Clark Avenue and Del Amo Boulevard, is a 9.6-acre property that was gifted to St. Anthony Parish in 1945 to serve as an athletic field for the high school’s athletic teams. It has been home to St. Anthony football and other outdoor sports programs ever since.
St. Anthony Athletic Director Chris Morrison has a long connection to the project, going back to his days as a student at St. Anthony. He said that the goal is to have all of St. Anthony’s outdoor sports competing together at the new Clark Field complex.
“I’m excited that it’s happening,” Morrison said. “When I went to school here, it was always a topic of discussion, and I graduated in ‘91. Getting news that we’ll break ground in 2021, it’s huge. It’s huge for enrollment, and it’s great ofr our athletes to be able to play on a turf field. In the winter, we won’t have to worry about grass being there for soccer, and we can have track meets there now. It’s about getting all of our sports together in one place. It’s going to be great.”
Morrison brings some recent experience with renovating high school athletic facilities. He was the athletic director at St. Pius X-St. Matthias Academy in Downey when they upgraded their athletics complex in 2017-18.
The renovation project at Clark Field will be conducted in two phases, with the main football field, track, weight room and locker rooms as part of the initial phase. The second phase will focus on the baseball and softball field, plus additional facilities that are currently in the planning stages.
Football coach Mario Morales is entering his ninth season with the Saints, with a CIF Championship under his belt from the 2016 season. He said this complex will be a boost to the program and that his players and coaching staff are already excited about it.
“First I would like to acknowledge Gina Maguire, our president, along with Ken Miller and Mike Currin. They were really the driving force behind this,” Morales said. “The three of those people doing a great job getting this thing going has been wonderful. Seeing it come to fruition is really exciting. It’s a long time coming and we can’t wait to see it concluded.”
Renderings courtesy St. Anthony High School