The turf fields being installed off of 77th and Delmar are expected to be finished by holiday break. The project started at the beginning of summer but encountered multiple complications, ranging from blueprint errors to unexpected field additions. However, according to Athletic Director Kelli Kurle, it appears most of the issues have been worked out, and the finished product is in sight.
The first issue that the installation company faced was a blueprint error, according to Kurle. The blueprint company used a different form of measurement than the installation company, which meant an entirely new outline had to be created.
The original completion date was scheduled to be Aug. 13, but was pushed back to Sept. 30 after the blueprint complication. After that, they pushed it back even further to Nov. 1, so they could add another field. The new deadline is now winter break. Kurle believes the construction is on schedule, but she wouldn’t be surprised if they had another postponement.
“It’s been a mess,” Kurle said. “For a long time they couldn’t figure out the issue, which caused a pretty big delay, but now things are looking better and they’ve got a new time in which they think they can finish.”
“They say everything’s going fine,” Kurle said. “And it will be finished before winter break, but I mean you can see the work they’ve done. It’s all just rocks. There’s still no turf on the ground. So who knows when they will actually be finished.”
Aside from blueprint errors, the district decided to add another field to the area, midway through the process, which Kurle believes was another major setback. The new fields will now feature two baseball diamonds and an outfield, along with one regulation sized soccer field.
Issues with the field installation has caused the district and administration some grief, along with school groups such as the boys soccer team.
“They said it was going to be done before soccer tryouts,” said varsity soccer player senior Michael Mardikes. “Then when it wasn’t done, we all thought ‘oh we can use it midway through the season,’ and then it never even happened, which was pretty disappointing.”
Being able to use the turf fields for practice could’ve helped the team practice more efficiently. According to Mardikes, practicing on turf is much better than practicing on grass.
“On turf you don’t have to worry about stuff like little holes in the ground, or chunks of dirt causing the ball to bounce funny,” Mardikes said. “The ground is just way softer and smoother, which makes passing way easier.”
The school’s goal is that the softball team will be able to use the fields for practice, alongside the boys baseball team, both of whom start practices in the spring.
“I’m really excited to be able to practice on turf,” said varsity baseball player senior Spencer Mustoe. “Being able to have that clean field instead of dirt will make things go a lot better at practice, and not to mention it will help us on our road to a state championship.”
Once completed, it will be the first time that boys soccer will be able to practice on school grounds in the last ten plus years, along with softball. Both the teams were forced to practice at Indian Hills Middle School during previous years.