By Andrew Wroblewski
Continuing with the recent trend of renovations and additions to St. Anthony’s High School, officials announced last week plans for a new stadium to be constructed on the southeast lawn of the South Huntington school’s property.
The project, estimated at $1.2 million dollars, said St. Anthony’s Director of Development Don Corrao, will be named after James Metzger, the CEO and chairman of Long Island-based insurance broker The Whitmore Group, who is donating a lead, “substantial six-figure” gift.
“This is a very exciting and extraordinary time at St. Anthony’s,” Corrao said. “The James C. Metzger Stadium will be a very intimate and aesthetically pleasing venue for our student athletes and for our community.”
Construction of the 1,000-capacity stadium, which will include a turf playing field, low-rise bleachers facing Wolf Hill Road, and a dynamic scoreboard, is expected to begin in less than a month, Corrao said; the project is estimated to require three-to-four months to complete, he said.
In addition to the stadium, the school’s welcoming structure – found at the intersection of Pigeon Hill, Wolf Hill and Old Country roads – will also be revamped and will include new flagpoles.
“We’re trying to create an Ivy-League stadium environment,” Corrao said. “[The stadium] will become a showcase like other aspects of the school.”
Though he never attended St. Anthony’s High School, Metzger said he has long recognized the school’s prestige as he grew up in Melville and graduated from the Half Hollow Hills School District. A decorated athlete in both lacrosse and football, Metzger has been a frequent donor to organizations and institutions such as Half Hollow Hills High School East, Big Brothers Big Sisters and Hofstra University. He now adds St. Anthony’s to that list.
When presented with the opportunity to contribute to the St. Anthony’s project, Metzger said he was honored to become a part of what he said is a “special” community.
“I’m not an alum, that’s true – but this location was the epicenter of my world growing up in Melville,” Metzger said of St. Anthony’s. “A great environment, great history, great legacy both academically and, of course, athletically at St. Anthony’s.”
Corrao said the stadium will primarily be used for practices and days games – by both St. Anthony’s teams and local community teams. The stadium will not include lights, Corrao said, in an effort by school officials to be good neighbors.