There was skepticism when Chattanooga Christian School announced five years ago that it was joining the local high school football fraternity.
The Chargers have struggled, the 4-6 record of 2010 standing as their best season to date.
They are here to stay, though, and opponents visiting CCS this year will be able to bear witness after seeing the school’s new multipurpose athletic facility. It will have an artificial playing surface for both football and soccer and permanent seating for at least 2,500 — with dedicated seating for home team and visiting fans.
At the old football/soccer facility, located across the parking lot from the academic buildings, there was seating only on one side of the field. That problem has been eliminated and CCS’s overall athletic facilities have stretched and grown.
The old stadium will remain, primarily because of its eight-lane track and high jump and pole vault pits, but also as a facility that can be used for middle school football and soccer and, at times, high school football and girls’ soccer practices.
“I’m really excited. It’s a first-class facility and the entire program will benefit,” CCS athletic director John Visser said.
Included in the project were drainage work to solve water problems on the back side of the campus and the moving, lighting and rebuilding of the softball field.
The new football/soccer field is 72 yards wide, making it among the largest local playing surfaces for soccer.
All of the work is paid for.
“CCS has never built anything unless the money is in hand. That’s been our policy, and I think it will continue to be our policy,” Visser said, adding that fundraising, through the school’s development office, had been going on for slightly more than a year.
“We’re hoping to have construction finished by the end of next week. The first event scheduled to be held there is a soccer match August 20 against GPS. The first football game will be against Lookout Valley on August 30.”
The multipurpose stadium is just the first step. School officials hope to have by this time next year a 14,000-square-foot facility next to the football/soccer field that will house a concession stand, classrooms, locker rooms and a dedicated strength and conditioning room. That construction will in turn allow CCS wrestlers to finally have a permanent space they can call their own.
CCS has been busy upgrading its facilities and last year put new floors in the gymnasium.
“We want to have facilities that students and parents can take pride in. [The construction] enhances the development of the whole Chattanooga Christian community,” Visser said.
<em>Contact Ward Gossett at email@example.com or 423-886-4765.</em>