Calvert Hall, one of the first high school’s in the Baltimore area to install synthetic turf, is installing a new field on the surface of Kelly Field at Paul Angelo Russo Stadium, which will debut on Aug. 28 when the Cardinals open their 2010 football schedule against St. John’s (D.C.).

The new field is a gift from the namesakes of Kelly Field, the Honorable Francis X. Kelly and his wife, Janet, who also donated the original field.

The new surface is manufactured by AstroTurf and will be the company’s first high school installation in this region. It features true vertical asset integration and ti is now the official turf of Major League Baseball and is in use by several major league teams, as well NFL teams and numerous colleges and universities.

The original synthetic turf at Calvert Hall was installed in 2003 after the school struggled with several natural grass surfaces, which failed to consistently take root. The original carpet, however, wore down from extended use and actually had to be patched in the goalie areas at both ends of the field last fall.

Although they are funding a turf field, the Kelly roots at Calvert Hall are real and deep, especially on Kelly Field.

Mr. and Mrs. Kelly have had four sons – Frank III ’82, John ’83, David ’85 and Bryan ’87 – graduate from the school, as well as two grandsons – David ’10 and Frank IV ’10. Bryan Kelly is the schools head lacrosse coach and last spring he had five of his nephews on his team. John ’13, Patrick ’12 and Stephen ’13 remain at the Hall and will play for their uncle again in the spring.

According to the school’s president, Brother Thomas Zoppo, FSC, “The generosity of constituents like the Kelly Family is important to Calvert Hall because it allows the school to complete necessary capital improvements.”

“We are very grateful to the Kelly Family for their continued support of Calvert Hall. The new surface on Kelly Field will allow our coaches and student-athletes to perform to the highest level while participating in the competitive MIAA A Conference. We look forward to many successes from our athletic department in the years to come,” said Lou Eckerl, Calvert Hall’s Athletic Director.

Last fall, the Calvert Hall soccer team played the first ever night game in the stadium, under rented lights during the MIAA A Conference playoffs and drew a capacity crowd. This fall the school plans to play a few games, both soccer and football, under the lights as it continues to explore the possibility of installing permanent lights.

In 2008, Calvert Hall also opened Carlos Crispino Stadium which features a synthetic turf baseball field. That facility was honored last December as the National High School Field of the Year by the National High School Baseball Coaches Association.