On Aug. 29, Pace Academy’s varsity football team took on the Our Lady of Mercy Bobcats in the first athletic competition at Walsh Field, a new facility within Pace Academy’s existing Athletics Complex.
The game marked the end of a two-year, $32-million capital campaign for the Arthur M. Blank Family Upper School, a 75,000-square-foot building that recently opened on the school’s W. Paces Ferry Road campus in Buckhead. More than 1,300 donors contributed to the campaign, which exceeded its goal by more than $3 million, allowing for the completion of the school’s satellite Athletics Complex, located at 5700 Riverview Road in Cobb County.
Pace Academy parents, volunteers, and alumni Leigh and Tim Walsh (Pace Class of 1981) contributed to the campaign, the largest alumni capital gift in Pace Academy history, and Walsh Field is named in their honor. “Participation in Pace Athletics has had a tremendous impact on me, on Leigh and on our three children,” said Walsh, who served as chairman of Pace Academy’s Board of Trustees from 2011 to 2014. “It was time for the quality of our facilities to match the quality of our student-athletes, and our family is fortunate to be part of making that happen.”
The Walsh Family cut the ribbon on Walsh Field during a back-to-school event for faculty and staff on Aug. 28, and they participated in the inaugural coin toss prior to the Aug. 29 game. In addition to the opening festivities, the Knights’ 2014 state champions in track and girls’ soccer received state-championship rings during halftime, and the Knights went on to defeat the Bobcats 14-12.
Walsh Field includes a state-of-the-art stadium with bleacher seating, a FIFA-regulation grass field and a Beynon track. The facility fulfills the school’s original vision for the Riverview Road property, which it acquired in 2005. In addition to Walsh Field, Pace Academy Athletics Complex includes Charlie Owens Baseball Field, a multipurpose field for football, soccer and lacrosse, locker rooms, an athletic training facility and a snack bar.