For the first time, the Shaler Area football team will play a home game at Titan Stadium on artificial turf. After numerous setbacks with installing the new turf and track, the newly renovated stadium will debut this evening at 7:30 when the Titans host Butler.
“The new stadium is going to bring a lot of energy and excitement to the team. We are all looking forward to being the first team to play on the turf,” junior defensive back Davis Deasy said.
Construction on the new field began immediately after graduation, June 3. Contractors planned to work all summer in hopes of having the field ready for the opening game.
Unfortunately after some issues with the turf and construction companies, the field was not ready for the football team to use for its first two games.
“We were dealing with two different companies, the turf company was different than the construction company and they didn’t always work together, they didn’t communicate effectively and that is what cost us time,” according to Shaler Area athletic director Clint Rauscher.
After discussing the issues with other schools as well, the games were unable to be moved. As an alternative, Central Catholic and North Allegheny played Shaler at Biles field which went better than expected.
“The new turf is very nice, but the setting at Biles was friendly and had a good atmosphere,” said Shaler Area superintendent Sean Aiken.
While the field is ready for the football game, the track isn’t ready which will require some accommodations. Right now, the track surface has not been installed, which leaves just the asphalt exposed.
“Since it is just asphalt, we are able to just put turf across the track to protect it,” Rauscher said.
The track should be officially done by the end of October, according to Rauscher.
“The asphalt for the track has been laid down, it has to sit for about three weeks, we will then apply the coating starting after homecoming. The entire process hopefully completed by the end of October,” said Rauscher.