The renovations have been made possible by donations from the class of 1949 and funds raised by WOSA-India. This support is recognized in the text of a marble marker embedded in the wall which supports the new fence.
Work on the field began December 31, 1995, with laying of the marble marker, distribution of sweets, a puri and subzi lunch, and an inaugural baseball game.
While the new fence will have minimal effect on the length of the track that the field can accommodate, it is a dramatic improvement for field sports such as soccer, cricket and hockey. Work is also nearing completion on improvements at the northern end of the field. Excavations and improvement in the nullas in the northeastern and northwestern corners of the field, construction of a finished drain across the northern edge, and temporary drain along the western edge of the field should dramatically improve drainage.
These improvements are expected to increase the usability of the field during and immediately after the monsoon when the soccer and track seasons take place.
The work is the first step in a planned four-phase renovation of the field. In the second phases of the project a low pushta and walkway will be built between the northwestern comer and western bleachers. Plans call for the temporary drain now in place to be upgraded later.
Plans for the remainder of Phases III and IV have not yet be finalized, but may include cutting back the northern section of the eastern edge of the field, adding a low pushta from the northeastern catchment to the existing pushta on the eastern side of the field below the old Eastwood estate, cutting the western bleachers slightly to straighten that edge of the field, constructing additional seating, and perhaps renovating the locker and equipment building above the western bleachers.
Much will depend on the availability of funding. At a meeting held February 22, the WOSA Council (of WOSA-India) voted to sponsor an event in Bombay this fa11 with hopes of raising an additional 1 lakh of rupees for the project. Plans for the event are being coordinated by Tom Alter ('68) and Shiv Nanda ('58).
In a letter read to the Council of WOSA-India, and also conveyed to the Class of 1949, Physical Education Department Head Ajay Mark conveyed the thanks of the entire school for the support and interest that has made the renovation possible.
In the early part of the century, Woodstock ordinarily rented Taylor's Flat, near the bottom of Mullingar Hill, for sports events. In 1936, Principal A.E. Parker proposed that the school build its own field. Sports Day was held at the Hanson Field site for the first time in 1941.
Originally called Midwood Flat, the field was renamed in honor of alumnus Robert Hanson ('37), an American who died in the Second World War after earning the Congressional Medal of Honor.