DERBY-The demolition could take the whole week.
But its memories will last forever.
The field house at Ryan Field is being demolished today. With it will go decades of memories.
These include the Class S state championships in 1990 and 1985, the great Derby-Ansonia and Derby-Shelton football classics and the back-to-back 2017 and 2018 Derby Track and Field Championships.
The field house is where players dressed and showered, listened to half-time motivational speeches, celebrated victories and lamented last second defeats.
And while the memories will remain, this field house will be gone.
In its place will be built a state-of-the art modern two-story facility, funded by Joan R. Payden, the chief executive officer and founder of Payden & Rygel, a $110 billion dollar asset management company.
Payden donated millions to build the field house and reconstruct the boys’ baseball and girls’ softball field as a memory to her father Joseph R. Payden, the 1915 Derby High valedictorian. He graduated from Yale University and served in England as a fighter pilot during World War I, He later became chief executive officer of Union Carbide Java Ltd. In Indonesia.
The new field house, designed by Peter deBretteville of Hamden. It will stands two stories high with porches outside the second floor providing a view of both the football and baseball fields. Inside will be a state-of-the art locker room, a banquet room and meeting hall, and a museum. It will be located between the football and baseball fields.
Superintendent of Schools Matthew Conway said demolition of the structure will take two days while another three days will be spent removing the foundation.
The city received $2.9 million from the state to construct a track field and line the football field with artificial turf.
Demolition of the field house may be watched, above.