Haddonfield unveiled it's new-look high school stadium this week with fanfare, crowds and a commanding football win to open the season.
The game was played on a freshly-installed, synthetic-turf field laid down just in time for a 47-6 thrashing of Audubon in Haddonfield Memorial High School's season opener Thursday.
But, the the event was about more than football. The campaign to install the new field was wrought with political consequences in this historic, 2.5-square-mile borough.
School board member Steve Weinstein, who started the year as board president, stepped down in the spring after the defeat of a $12.5 public referendum to purchase the 18.7-acre Bancroft. The purchase plan also included the construction of another artificial turf field. Many critics say the inclusion of the turf field soured their vote.
The high school field project, which also included a new surface for an adjacent practice field, was separate from the Bancroft referendum. It cost just over $1 million and included $600,000 of private money raised in the community. But the project was still opposed by some residents with environmental concerns about chemicals used to clean the turf and other with concerns about spending priorities in the districts.
Weinstein also announced he did not intend to run for reelection this fall. He was recently named general counsel for Rowan University, which is rapidly expanding. He said his new role there influenced his decision not to run.
He spoke Thursday about why the new field is a positive milestone for Haddonfield, despite the political rancor. Please see the attached video.