Construction at French Field on the Rocky Mountain High School campus is nearly complete and the updated facilities are expected to give student-athletes a better playing experience.
The cost to replace the field is $423,000 and $99,000 to resurface the track, a project taking place one year ahead of schedule.
Voted on and passed as a 2010 bond issue, Poudre School District installed new artificial turf earlier this summer and is now in the process of resurfacing the track surrounding French Field. All athletics-related construction projects at Rocky are expected to be finished by the time school starts Aug. 21.
French Field last had artificial turf installed in 2002, switching from a grass surface at the time. PSD hoped to get 10 years out of the surface before having to install new turf.
“Facilities was able to maintain that property and keep it in good shape,” said Kelli Dwyer, the district’s athletic coordinator. “But after 10 years, it had reached the end of its life.”
In comparison, Hughes Stadium had its present FieldTurf installed in 2006, with only CSU football using the facility. PSD has four high schools with more than 20 teams using French Field on a regular basis. There are no plans to install a new surface at Hughes Stadium.
Installing new asphalt and concrete around the stadium is planned for 2016 with a budget of $310,000.
The new ground at French Field will be lined for football, soccer, lacrosse and field hockey, with a PSD logo at the 50-yard line. It also uses a monofilament material, opposed to slit-film like before. The difference is that a monofilament surface provides the field with individual blades of synthetic grass rather than a woven material like slit-film.
Fossil Ridge football coach Steve Vecchio and Rocky’s Mark Brook both said they’re happy PSD schools will get to play on a fresh surface, but don’t know how much of a difference it will make during games.
“Pretty much everywhere we go, they all have the same type of surface. The thing about the turf fields is that they play really well, even in the elements with rain and things like that,” Vecchio said. “There will be a bit of a difference, but I don’t know if it will be incredibly noticeable.”
Brook added that one benefit is the upgraded technology with the synthetic grass, because what was installed a decade ago was one of the first artificial surfaces available other than AstroTurf.
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