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Pace Academy’s Walsh Field to Open in August

Aim High capital campaign exceeds goal, allows for completion of Pace Academy Athletic Complex.

Artist rendering of the stadium, which will be named Walsh Field in honor of Leigh and Tim Walsh, both members of Pace Academy’s Class of 1981. Credit: Pace Academy
Artist rendering of the stadium, which will be named Walsh Field in honor of Leigh and Tim Walsh, both members of Pace Academy’s Class of 1981. Credit: Pace Academy
Buckhead's Pace Academy has announced that its $32-million Aim High capital campaign for a new Upper School has exceeded $35 million. The school’s Board of Trustees has designated the additional funds for the construction of a state-of-the-art stadium and track at Pace Academy’s existing Athletics Complex.

Pace Academy Athletics Complex is located at 5700 Riverview Road in Cobb County, six miles from Pace Academy’s main campus on W. Paces Ferry Road. It currently includes Charlie Owens Baseball Field, a multipurpose field for football, soccer and lacrosse, locker rooms, an athletic training facility and a snack bar.

The stadium and track will complete the school’s original vision for the property, which it acquired in 2005. The stadium will be named Walsh Field in honor of Leigh and Tim Walsh, both members of Pace Academy’s Class of 1981. The Walsh family’s contribution to the Aim High campaign is the largest alumni capital gift in Pace Academy history.

Leigh and Tim Walsh have long been connected to Pace Academy. Leigh’s mother, Lyn Draughon, taught Spanish at the school for 12 years. The Walsh’s eldest child, James, is a Pace alumnus, and son Jack and daughter Megan are current students. Tim will conclude his term as chairman of the Pace Academy Board of Trustees this summer; Leigh is a co-chair of the 2014 Parents Club Auction, a Booster Club officer and an active parent volunteer.

“Pace Academy has been part of our lives for as long as we can remember,” the Walshes said in a release. “We both had life-changing educational experiences at the school, and it’s been equally transformative for our children. Watching Pace Athletics grow in recent years has been a joy, and we can think of no better gift than to help complete the school’s athletic facilities for generations of Pace Knights.”

Walsh Field will be built adjacent to the Athletics Complex’s multipurpose field in a space now designated as practice fields. It will include bleacher seating, a FIFA-regulation grass field suitable for all sports and a Beynon track. The project will be complete in time for the Knights’ first home football game of the 2014 season on Friday, Aug. 29.

“Throughout the Aim High campaign, the generosity of the Pace community has been overwhelming,” says Head of School Fred Assaf. “Our objective was to build an outstanding Upper School. To exceed our goal and complete Pace Academy Athletics Complex is the most welcome of surprises. Tim and Leigh Walsh bleed Pace blue. It is only fitting that we name the facility in their honor. We will forever be grateful for their commitment to our school.”

In August 2012, under the leadership of co-chairs Elizabeth Richards and Robert Sheft, Pace Academy embarked on Aim High, its most ambitious fundraising effort to date. The campaign has funded the construction of The Arthur M. Blank Family Upper School, a four-story, 75,000-square-foot facility that will include The Woodruff Library. The building will welcome students in August 2014. Additional information about The Arthur M. Blank Family Upper School and the Aim High campaign is available at www.paceacademy.org/aimhigh.

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