When Rivers School student-athletes return to campus in September, they will have a couple of new things to get used to—namely, two new artificial turf fields to play on and a new athletics logo to embrace.
The two new fields, along with a new pavilion, make up a new athletic complex that dramatically improves Rivers’s athletic facilities. The construction of the new complex has been proceeding at a breakneck pace all summer, with a goal of having the fields available for the fall sports season. Though construction on the project didn’t begin until May, the new facilities are nearly complete.
“I couldn’t be more pleased with how this project has gone,” says Head of School Ned Parsons. “We were fortunate to have nearly perfect weather all summer, so there were virtually no construction delays. I am so grateful to the donors who not only provided the funds to make this project a reality but encouraged us to get the complex built as quickly as possible so that it would be ready for use during this fall’s sports season. I know our kids and coaches are going to love it, and I look forward to Homecoming this year when we will celebrate the opening of this new complex with our full Rivers community of parents and alumni.”
The new complex is situated in front of the MacDowell Athletic Center, roughly in the same location as the old playing fields. The first field, called Davis Field, runs parallel to Winter Street and will be used for football, field hockey, and lacrosse. West Field, at the far end of the complex next to Hovey Avenue, will be used for soccer, field hockey, and lacrosse.
Between the two fields sits a pavilion that consists of a fieldhouse and large patio area. “The pavilion is a really nice addition to our campus facilities,” says Parsons. “We’ll be able to use it to serve food to spectators during games, and it will be a gathering spot for our community during special events.”
The entrance to the complex is framed by a new stone wall and two stone pillars. The school plans to place a bronze statue of a red-winged blackbird at this entrance in honor of the native feathered species that served as the inspiration for The Rivers School’s sports nickname, the Red Wings. On game days, athletes entering the field will be able to touch the statue for luck.
New Athletics Logo
The opening of the new athletic complex coincides with another big change for the school—the unveiling of a new athletics logo and wordmark. Developed over the course of the past year, with input from coaches and students, the new logo features a stylized red-winged blackbird in flight. Predominantly black with red highlights, the logo aligns with the coloration of the new school mascot, which was unveiled during last year’s Homecoming Weekend.
The new logo replaces the all-red, single-wing logo, which the school adopted more than 20 years ago.
“We’ve been wanting to create a new logo for some time now that would feel more modern and unique to Rivers. We also wanted a logo that would be easier to use as a graphic element on uniforms, signage, spirit wear, and other school merchandise,” says Athletics Director Bob Pipe. “I’m really happy with what we’ve come up with.”
The new logo and wordmark are one of several different design iterations developed for the school by outside graphic designer Dwight Darian over the past 12 months. Once the designs were narrowed down to two top choices, those options were shared with several different focus groups of students and coaches last spring. The input from those focus groups led to a few more design tweaks and helped guide the decision to adopt the winning design.
“This is an eye-catching, high-energy logo,” says Pipe. “It provides us with lots of flexibility in how we can use it, and it does a better job of paying tribute to the bird that was the original inspiration for the Red Wings name.”