Southern Lehigh announces new stadium


Kelcie Wagner

The stadium is expected to be built by August 2023 at the middle school.

Kelcie Wagner and Morgan Downing

After much anticipation, the Southern Lehigh football stadium and track, located on the middle school campus, is finally under renovation. Construction was slated to begin in late November of this year, but plans were pushed back to December. The primary contractor for the project, Athletic Fields of America, expects the new stadium to be completed by August 2023.  

“The track itself was well past its expected life and had to be replaced given [its] heavy use,” Southern Lehigh School District superintendent Dr. Michael Mahon said.

The new track will provide a safer environment and better opportunities for all of the sports teams, specifically track and field, football, soccer, cheerleading, color guard, and band.

“The runway for long jump was getting torn up and the board that you stepped on had patches missing as well,” said sophomore Ella Kimmel. “A new stadium will help those problems and would look more neat and professional to other teams that come to our school for spring track meets.”

 It will instill pride in all of the programs at Southern Lehigh and hopefully improve the student section experience. 

“The new stadium will be of great benefit to our winter and spring track and field program,” SLHS track and field coach Mr. Cotie Strong said. “[It] will provide an upgrade to our ability to train safely and effectively throughout the two seasons.”

During the renovation, the construction crew will make lots of improvements on the stadium, such as converting the natural grass to synthetic turf and replacing the bleachers on the home side. The new stadium will combine the handicapped and main bleachers, allowing for easier access for disabled viewers. The lighting will also be replaced, and a digital scoreboard will be installed.

“We also hope to train students to operate the scoreboard, which is from the same company as scoreboards used by the Iron Pigs and many other major college and professional stadiums,” Dr. Mahon said. 

A brand new bocce court will also be unveiled. The court will be open to students in gym classes, as well as all community members.

“Bocce is a sport that can be accessed by a very broad range of students, so we hope to expand the number of students who can use the facility,” Dr. Mahon said. 

The Southern Lehigh administration, faculty, and students are very eager to see the new stadium in the fall of 2023.