Penn Charter Dedicates Maguire Field
On a glorious afternoon in East Falls, Penn Charter dedicated Maguire Field and Head of School Darryl J. Ford thanked the Maguire family for its generosity to PC students and the school.
“We want our students to live lives of consequence and make a difference in the world,” Ford said during a celebration at halftime of the Inter-Ac league opener against Haverford School. “For the difference the Maguire family has made to Penn Charter, to the City of Philadelphia, the state and beyond, we dedicate this field.
"We could not be more thankful to the Maguire family. Welcome to Maguire Field.”
James Maguire and his sons Chris OPC '84 and Tim OPC '85 made a $1.5 million gift to Penn Charter to fund the new, top-of-the-line synthetic track and field. Chris and Tim have vivid memories of playing football at PC when the fields were grass (that wore to dirt by the second week of practices). Their parents, Jim and Frannie, were fixtures on the sidelines of all their children's games.
Chris, pictured above at left with his father, Ford and Jeff Reinhold, clerk of Overseers, spoke to the halftime crowd, which included teammates from the 1983 Inter-Ac champion football team and members of Penn Charter’s Athletic Honor Society. Tim lives on the West Coast. Chris recalled the dedication of Penn Charter teachers and coaches who give their lives to executing the Penn Charter vision.
“Tim, my dad and I are proud to give back to something that had such a positive impact on our life,” he said.
Chris and Tim were not the first in their family to play on Penn Charter’s football field. Their mother’s three brothers, Eddie, Bill and Jim, donned the blue and yellow in the 1950s for the Penn Charter Quakers. “I’m told they were tough as nails,” Ford said.
Maguire Field advances Penn Charter's Strategic Vision to develop space and facilities that support excellence in every aspect of the Penn Charter program. The field is the latest generation of synthetic fields, providing a dense carpet on top of a pad and filled with sterile – not reused – rubber. Its surface is soft and uniform, and also impervious to the weather.
"It's a venue that can be used over and over again, far more so than a grass field," said John Thiel, director of athletics and athletic planning. Given that Penn Charter offers 28 sports and a majority require field space, PC can't afford the time to let a field rest. "A synthetic field gives us a playing field equal to the best grass field and gives us access to it 365 days a year."
In the 12 months since the field was completed in October 2015, student athletes have used the field for football, lacrosse and soccer – and even some baseball and softball practices.
On 47 acres, Penn Charter now offers its players and fans:
- two synthetic playing fields, five grass playing fields, one all-weather, eight-lane track, seven tennis courts, 10 squash courts, four basketball courts, and one swimming pool.
- PC has four buildings designated for athletics: Graham Athletics Center — with the new Blaine A. Steinberg OPC '11 Center for Fitness and Performance — Kline & Specter Squash Center, Ray Dooney Field House — with new basketball courts — and the Old Gym, which has been renovated to once again house the wrestling program.