Renovation of the Washington High School outdoor athletic/band complex is still on schedule with turf installation to start next week.
With the new AstroTurf Gameday grass, school officials said the field will now be completely multipurpose for use not only by the athletic teams, but also the band, P.E. and other classes, and the many community events held at the outdoor complex throughout the year.
Assistant Superintendent Dr. Brendan Mahon said the turf will be delivered Monday. Installation will take a couple of weeks.
“The field and track are really starting to take shape,” Mahon told The Missourian. “It’s very exciting seeing all of the work that’s been done.”
If the project continues on schedule, Mahon said the field is expected to be ready for the Blue Jays football home opener Friday, Sept. 6.
The $2.3 million project includes a synthetic turf field, spray-on track, new lighting, new visiting side bleachers, fencing, improved ADA accessibility, concrete walkway around the track and an access road, as well as extensive excavation, earthwork and surface prep.
Last week, piers for the visitors side bleachers were put in and concrete for the field events was poured. Fabric, flat panel drains and base stone is being installed for the field, and work continues on a retaining wall at the complex.
Over the next three weeks, asphalt will be poured for the running track, the synthetic turf will be installed, the sidewalks around the track area will be completed and fencing around the perimeter installed.
Mahon said school officials are very pleased with the work to date.
“We’ve had no major snags. A few minor issues have come up, but it’s really been a good project,” he said. “Byrne & Jones Construction, the general contractor, has been very easy to work with. It’s a very reputable company with a lot of experience.”
The new entrance gate and canopy, a late addition to the project, may not be fully completed by early September, Mahon said, since it was just approved by the school board.
“It will be close, but it will look great once it’s done,” he added.
The gate and canopy are being funded by the WHS Athletic Boosters, but the board is financing the project with a four-year or sooner payback by the athletic association.
Total cost of that project is estimated at $125,890. Byrne & Jones Construction will oversee the work.
The boosters also will reimburse the district $5,000 for the Blue Jay logo that will go in the center of the field.
Mahon said a dedication ceremony for the renovated complex is being planned for the home opener, but details are still being worked out.
The project is being funded through one-time monies in the district’s capital projects budget. The district also is using the $572,763 it received from Harman Becker in a settlement agreement with the city of Washington over tax payment for the project as well.
The WHS Athletic Association plans to reimburse the district The superintendent has said the project is about restoring pride in the high school.