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BY Todd Britton


PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania -

After 98 years, The Ellis School is getting its first regulation-sized athletic field.

The prestigious, all-girls school is currently installing a new Shaw Sports Turf playing surface to accommodate field hockey, lacrosse, and soccer. The school’s old field, at 250 feet x 125 feet (or 31,000 sf), was much smaller than a normal playing surface and teams were forced to rent playing space from the city and from other schools. The new field will be 330 feet x 220 feet (or 72,600 sf).

The new Shaw Sports Turf surface levels the playing field for us, literally and figuratively,” said Emily Peters, Director of Development at the school. “The new field will allow us to get the most use with the least amount of maintenance and provide a high quality surface which will give our student-athletes a competitive edge.

Peters said several former Ellis School athletes have gone on to successful college careers, even winning national championships. These include Ellis alumnae Paulette Cutrazzula and Julianne Cutrazzula Beil who both played on national championship lacrosse teams for Franklin and Marshall College. Peters said the new field will be a key tool in drawing those types of students to the school.

“The field will also give us the advantage of offering its use to the community, making us a good neighbor to the city of Pittsburgh,” said Robin Newham, Head of The Ellis School.
Peters cited several reasons for the selection of Shaw Sports Turf.

“In doing research in synthetic turf, Shaw Sports Turf came with the highest recommendation from our peers,” said Peters. “We’ve also been extremely impressed by the product, the professionalism, and the commitment to customer service.”

The new field will feature the Momentum 41 turf system, which mirrors the same look and feel as natural grass, and is known for its durability and overall performance. The Momentum system offers the best combination of firmness, speed and safety.

“The Ellis School provides an unparalleled educational experience for the girls and young women who attend the school,” said Ray Battistel. “Our hope is that they can also have an unparalleled athletic experience on the new Shaw Sports Turf playing field.”

Construction on the project is underway, with an expected completion date of July 15. While pre-season sports camps and practices will begin right away, the school has scheduled an event to celebrate the opening of the field on September 6, which is the home opener for the field hockey and soccer teams.

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