The grass fields are ready, the tennis courts freshly painted, and the certificate of occupancy is almost in hand. After five years of planning and months of construction, CA’s Athletic Campus is finally complete.
As the athletic teams prepare for their opening games, it seems a fitting time to reveal that the 13.5-acre property will be officially named the Moriarty Athletic Campus.
Truth be told, it took a little arm-twisting.
“I am not big about names being on anything,” says President of CA’s Board of Trustees John Moriarty P’02,’05,’07. In fact, Moriarty’s clients routinely get lost trying to find their way to his office because there are no signs to indicate where it is. “People will call us, and they will say where are you?” laughs Moriarty.
Still, after much thought and counsel with his wife and partner of thirty-one years, Carol, and his three children – all CA graduates – Moriarty embraced the idea of naming the Moriarty Athletic Campus after his family. “This was a thing the two of us thought would be an important thing to do for CA; we thought it would make a difference”.
Head of School Rick Hardy says naming the campus after the Moriarty family is appropriate not just because of their significant financial contribution to the project, but because John Moriarty showed tremendous leadership from the project’s initiation to its completion.
“It honors the vision he had,” says Hardy. “John Moriarty was the driving force behind this project.”
In fact, in 2007, it was Moriarty who first saw opportunity in a patch of land less than a mile from CA’s main campus that was about to go into foreclosure.
At the time, Jake Dresden was the head of school, and he remembers the important role Moriarty played in the beginning. “I think it is fair to say that without him the project would not have gone forward. There are many other people in the community who saw that it was an important step for the school, but the key part of John’s role, was his ability to convince the Trustees that this was an important thing to do,” says Dresden.
It was John Moriarty who decided to put down his own money to “tie the land up” so that it could not be sold to a developer. John realized that purchasing this property gave the school the option to develop these fields says Dresden. “He had a vision for the future of the school.”
After the Board of Trustees embraced the idea of building a new athletic campus, they set about the long and difficult task of raising money in a down economy.
Elizabeth Ballantine ’66 says she is “delighted” to hear that the Athletic Campus will bear the Moriarty name. “You need to know who your leaders are and have them named. This is a public statement of how much we are indebted and appreciative of them,” says Ballantine, who currently serves on the Board of Trustees.
Ballantine, who also made a generous financial contribution to the project, says the completion of the Moriarty Athletic Campus should serve as an “inspiration to others . . . this is the start of more growth for Concord.”
In fact, the acquisition of the property increases the school’s footprint by a full third to thirty-nine acres. This transformative project not only provides the school with first-rate athletic facilities, but it also serves to allow CA to imagine how the main campus could evolve in support of the student experience.
On campus, as new and returning students begin to arrive for the school year, excitement is beginning to build for Opening Day at the Moriarty Athletic Campus which is slated for September 12. The official dedication will take place on November 2 in conjunction with the celebration of Concord Academy’s 90th year.
Rick Hardy says that after all the hard work and the months of anticipation, he can’t wait to “stand on the sidelines, cheering for a CA team. I’m looking forward to taking it all in. It’s going to be a huge thrill.”