When Verona High School scrimmages against Newark’s Shabazz High School for its football season opener today, it won’t be the same as in years past.
That’s because the game will be played on the lower football field, for the first time – according to school officials – since 1970.
This week, the school district and township have been setting up and getting the lower field ready.
Verona's home games were moved to the lower field after a large shaft opened up on the main field. Originally, the school district thought the problem on the field was a sinkhole, but further study appears that the problem was an open well or shaft.
The shaft has been filled in and repaired, according to the district, however, an engineering firm is continuing to study the field – because a preliminary report showed there may be additional problems underground. As a safety precaution, the district is moving the games.
The football team is used to practicing on the lower field, but this will be the first home game played on it since 1970, said Verona Superintendent Steven Forte.
The lines were painted and the goal posts were installed but the final touches were still being put in place before the home game opener.
A set of bleachers, a scoreboard and a concession tent were set up on the field to accommodate fans and parents coming to watch the game.
The football team may be on the lower field for the whole season, said Forte previously.
The open shaft in the football field may have been fixed, but it still may cost the distict about $21,000 to move the home games because of the additional equipment needed on the field to accommodate the games.