Brighton High boasts new athletic facilities for year-round trainingAug 05, 2021 01:25PM ● By Jerry Christensen
By Jerry Christensen | [email protected]
This year marks the completion of Brighton High School’s three-year, $100 million-plus rebuild. While the price tag is high and the dust in the neighborhood is thick, what will this community investment in school infrastructure return?
Hogan Construction was able to focus its initial efforts at the athletic facilities behind the current school building and was able to turn those new facilities over to the school for use in 2020 ahead of schedule. Brighton’s athletic director, Lynn Moncur, said that the new facilities “allow for in-depth training six days a week year-round despite the weather. The community also benefits as we allow them to rent and use the facilities.”
The centerpiece of the “greater” Brighton campus is the award-winning Freestone Field. This unique east-west oriented stadium was named in the top five most scenic stadiums in the state of Utah. While two new track lanes were added to its original six lanes, the north bleachers rebuilt and a stunning 10-foot by 15-foot “Bengaltron” video screen added, the stadium remains relatively unchanged in comparison with the rest of the campus. These stadium upgrades allow Brighton to host region track and field events, lacrosse and rugby games in addition to region and state football games. The revamped stadium became a valuable asset during the pandemic as graduation and the senior dinner dance were able to be safely held at Brighton’s home field instead of being outsourced to other venues.
Most obvious to the adjacent Cottonwood Heights neighbors is the field house. This building, extending from the main gymnasium, grants Brighton a 40-yard indoor turf field surround by an indoor running track.
Principal Tom Sherwood remarked, “The field house is a great addition to our campus. It ensures that we have adequate space for safe daily physical education activities as well as athletic practice for all our field sports regardless of weather conditions.”
Baseball and softball teams use the field house as a consistent practice facility complete with pitching and hitting nets through the late winter months. Likewise, lacrosse and football athletes escape both the cold and the heat in favor of the regulated temperatures of the state-of-the-art field house. Multisport senior Tyler Knaak said, “The field house gives athletes a way to perfect their craft winter, summer, day or night. It is a valuable asset.”
Others in the community have different opinions. One resident referred to the structure as the Enola Gay Hangar and bemoaned both the view lost to the field house and the likely cost of it. Another resident said, “I used to be able to look down on the football field and follow the games from home. However, I am glad that my children will have safe and extended sport options.”
The new athletic facilities allow Brighton to host regional events such as wrestling divisionals and youth tournaments which the former facilities could not accommodate. First-year wrestling coach Mason Brinkman said, “The expanded wrestling room, the auxiliary gym, the main gym and the field house allow us to run 20-mat tournaments. We typically don’t see that capacity at any venue including UVU (state tournament) and the Legacy (Events) Center in Layton.”