Both West Leyden and East Leyden students will see some new facilities when the school year begins in August.
At West Leyden in Northlake, the Eagles have renovated the fieldhouse where the girls basketball team practices and track team competes.
The floor is being renovated as well as the track competition areas. Field athletes will also have a new pit. New windows and a paint job are also in the works as well as new bleachers and a classroom that will be enlarged to fit more students. The fieldhouse roof was also recoated.
At East Leyden in Franklin Park, the Leyden Annex is almost completed. The facility is right across the street from the school and will feature two softball fields and two soccer fields.
Leyden Athletic Director Randy Conrad said the softball fields will be for JV and freshman teams, but not varsity. That isn’t to say the varsity Eagles won’t play there, however. Varsity is still set to play nearly all of its games at The Ballpark in Rosemont next year, but the new facilities give Leyden a place to play if The Ballpark is in use.
“We will use The Ballpark at Rosemont as long as they allow us to use it,” Conrad said. “We love it there and are grateful to Rosemont.”
The soccer fields will also be used by lower level programs. Conrad wouldn’t mind seeing a freshman football game on a soccer/football field this year.
“It is more for practice than a game,” Conrad said of the soccer/football fields. “It won’t be for any varsity football games. There are no bleachers.
“We will finish the concession stand on Aug. 1. We would love to get some freshman football games in there.”
Conrad said use of the fields this year will depend on when the grass starts taking root.
“We need to make sure the grass takes root before we have people play on the fields,” Conrad said. “We hope to get some games in this year (during the fall season), but we would also be OK with waiting.”