By Cindy Perry firstname.lastname@example.org
Alpine students will soon have a real football field and a real track.
March 23, 2012 - The Alpine ISD board of trustees voted Wednesday night to renovate and update the district’s outdated Buck Stadium, a venue that other schools won’t let their athletes play on, and a field that doesn’t have a track.
Supt. Steve White and Darrell Dodds, the district’s director of Finance and Support Services, outlined the renovation plan for trustees and a small but enthusiastic audience, including Athletics Director and Coach Stacey Martin.
The stadium project will cost a maximum of $1.9 million; $1 million of that will come from the district’s non-designated fund, which totals around $3.8 million. The remaining $900,000 or less will be financed at 3.8% a year for seven years, or annual payments of $160,000. White said the district has the option to pay off the balance early. (The non-designated fund is used for such projects as construction, emergency repairs and so on.)
White, Dodds and school trustees emphasized that the project will not involve any increase in taxes or tax rates.
The stadium work could begin as early as April 1 and is scheduled to be completed by Aug. 1.
The school board also voted to award the project to Hellas Construction Co. of Austin, which installed the artificial turf at the Dallas Cowboys Stadium, Baylor University’s stadium and numerous other college and high school facilities.
The key portions of the renovation will involve the installation of new artificial turf, which Coach Martin and Dodds said will reduce the likelihood of injuries and will also save money by not having to reseed and water the grass that’s now on the field.
When completed, all Fightin Bucks high school and middle school football games, along with track activities, will take place at Buck Stadium. That means the school will no longer use Sul Ross State University’s Jackson Field for football games, or try to use the Sul Ross track — which White compared to running on concrete.
The refurbishment won’t result in a sports palace, White and Dodds emphasized. But they did say it will provide Alpine students — and the community — with a good, safe field.