The American International School · Vienna underwent major renovations this summer, unveiling a brand-new state-of-the-art sports field and athletic facilities poised to become one of Europe’s premier school-based recreational grounds.
The 1 million Euro investment took just more than two months to complete. The result is fully-updated outdoor sports complex capable of serving the school’s 750-plus students, its athletic leagues, as well as the AIS community at large.
“These facilities are far superior to any other outdoor facility at any international school in Vienna,” says Andy Harrison, director of the AIS Events Office. “Basically every single thing about the field is modern and upgraded.”
Excited to share the news, The Central and Eastern European Schools Association (CEESA) touted the new sports facilities on its website under the headline “AIS Vienna Opens with a Bang.”
In addition to the new sports field, the school also upgraded the track-and-field area, added an enclosed Fun Court, and resurfaced the elementary school soccer pitch. The upgrades are multi-functional and fully-flexible, making the facilities an asset to the entire student body.
Students in all three divisions (elementary, middle and high) benefit from the upgrades, through the curriculum in physical education and extracurricular activities, and recreationally at recess and after school
The sports field underwent the most dramatic upgrades. On the surface, the field is constructed with specialized fourth-generation materials. It is also equipped with a sprinkler system to cool down the surface in hot weather, while simultaneously decreasing skin-abrasions and increasing the speed for top-tier players. Below the surface is a completely modern drainage system, necessary because of the school’s premier location adjacent to the Vienna Woods.
The field benefits from cutting-edge technology, but perhaps the most striking aspect is its design. The lines on the field may look straight-forward but, says Harrison, “If you look closely, there is likely not another field like it in the world.” There are two standard and two cross-court soccer fields; two regulation softball diamonds with drop-in bases; a measured-mile run; and training grids for PE drills. On the side, there are marks for 100m and 110m hurdle events, allowing track athletes to practice over nine and eight hurdles respectively.
“These lines were done with a great deal of thought about how thick each line should be and what color,” says Harrison. “As a result, you have a clean-looking, incredibly functional facility.”
At the back of the field, there is now an enclosed Fun Court with a full-size basketball court, soccer goals and a volleyball court. In addition, there is a recreation area with basketball hoops, recess courts and table tennis. For track and field, there are sprint lanes, a safety-netted discus/shot put throw, and a long jump/triple jump pit.
The new field surface is expected to last up to 15 years, making it a long-range benefit for many years — and many more students — to come.