With swift kicks of soccer balls through goal posts by two Brighton High student athletes, the Canyons District community cheered the start of work on a soccer field in front of the newly rebuilt Butler Middle School.
Applause was constant at the Thursday, March 13, 2014 party to mark the start of work on the project, which will be the dedicated soccer field for the Brighton Bengals, home of the 2013 5A Girls Soccer State Champions..
To kickoff the project, members of Brighton’s girls and boys soccer teams bumped in the first-ever goals on the field. Immediately following the ceremonial goals, the Board of Education, District Administration, Brighton Principal Charisse Hilton and Butler Middle Principal Paula Logan, along with other CSD administrators and local dignitaries, turned the first dirt with golden-tipped shovels.
“It’s exciting to think that as early as this fall the Brighton High teams will be battling for more titles on the new field. This is a momentous occasion, and one that I won’t soon forget. I can’t wait for the first game on our new field,” said Canyons Board of Education member Kim Horiuchi.
“In so many ways, I consider this our very own ‘Field of Dreams,’ ” said Horiuchi, who spearheaded the proposal to build the field. “I foresee many years of recreation, competition, leadership and sportsmanship played out on this field. My thanks to everyone who is making this happen. “
The Board of Education on Tuesday, March 4, 2014 unanimously approved the plan to preserve open space and pursue the development of the soccer field in front of Butler Middle. The new school is one of the projects funded by the $250 million tax-rate-neutral bond generously approved by Canyons District voters in spring 2010.
Interim Superintendent Ginger Rhode also noted the success of the student athletes who prepared for their competitions at the Cottonwood Heights Recreation Center and the new and improved Butler Park, with its acres of well-maintained grassy fields and eight tennis courts.
“This little corner of Cottonwood Heights has become ground zero for creating champions in soccer, tennis and swimming,” Dr. Rhode said. “Right here, in a one-block radius, we have a recreation complex that has produced several state champions for Brighton High.”
In addition to the title-holding girls soccer team, Brighton’s boys tennis team has topped the state tourney seven times and last year BHS players won state titles in singles and doubles competitions. Brighton also has the most accomplished swimming program in the state. Last year, both boys and girls swimmers, who train at the Cottonwood Heights Recreation Center, won state championships, and this year the boys team won its sixth straight 5A state trophy.
The new soccer field, which will be completed by Hughes Construction, is the latest in a string of improvement and revitalization projects undertaken at CSD schools and District property in Cottonwood Heights.
In addition to the construction and opening of the new Butler Middle, Canyons District has built Brighton’s new Bengal Building; added a new track at Brighton High for student and community runners; opened the new Mount View Park for the benefit of the entire community; and added playing fields and tennis courts where the old Cottonwood Heights Elementary once stood. Butler Elementary will be one of the schools rebuilt with money from the 2010 bond. It will be rebuilt on the school’s traditional and current site.