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School board votes for new stadium, artificial turf

The Powell High School stadium will be moving north following action by the District No. 1 school board Tuesday night.

The board voted to authorize the district to begin planning for the move following discussion of alternatives presented by Todd Wilder, coordinator of support services for the district.

Wilder presented two options for a new stadium complex at the new school and two for replacing and upgrading the current stadium. Additionally, he gave figures for installing artificial turf or traditional turf regardless of location.

In a unanimous vote, the board chose the option of relocating to the new school and installing artificial turf. The estimated cost of that option is $1,946,816.

Wilder’s cost estimate for relocating the stadium without using artificial turf was $1,600,189, slightly less than repairing the old stadium with artificial turf at an estimated cost of $1,656,193. Repairing and upgrading the current stadium with sod turf would cost an estimated $1,309.786.

All four proposals would include replacing the track and installing state of the art lighting. Seating space at the new facility would be approximately 2,000, about the same as in the current stadium, but would be divided with 1,500 seats on the home side and 500 on the visitors’ side.

Proposals to move the stadium to the new site have been on the table since the new school was planned, but have been delayed due to cost considerations. The decision to move forward at this time was prompted by the recent determination that the current PHS track has deteriorated. While it may be repaired temporarily, the track will require complete replacement in two or three years.

Under the guidelines of the Wyoming School Facilities Commission, the state will fund a new track, and the board has now determined that it will be at the new site.

Much of the discussion centered around the question of artificial turf, which adds more than $300,000 to the cost of the project. That cost is mitigated by reduced maintenance costs, Wilder said, but it also must be replaced periodically.

Wilder noted that the artificial turf installed in Dick Cheney field at Natrona County High School in Casper is only seven years old and in need of replacement, but noted that the Casper district had done little or no maintenance on the turf, and proper maintenance should extend the life of the turf to 10 to 12 years. In addition, he said the technology of artificial turf and its maintenance is continually improving.

Wilder said he has never been a proponent of artificial turf over sod, but he is beginning to rethink his position due to advances in technology.

PHS football coach Jim Stringer spoke for the use of artificial turf as a safer surface, and also noted that the district had resodded the current facility twice in the past nine years.

Activities director Tim Wormald also spoke in favor of turf.

“I have yet to talk to anybody who has installed turf that regrets it,” Wormald said. “The kids have had a chance to play on turf, and they like it.”

Following the discussion, Dee Heny moved to authorize the district to proceed with the option for a new stadium using artificial turf. Greg Borcher seconded and the motion was approved unanimously.

Wilder said he believed plans for the new stadium could be developed quickly, but it might take longer to gain the approval of the School Facilities Commission.


Editor's note: For whatever reason, this story proved exceptionally popular for spam comments, so we've closed commenting on this story. The legitimate comments we did receive are posted below. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Thursday, 14 April 2011 21:21 posted by Morgan Tyree
Don't worry Coach Stringer, I won't be there to sully that inaugural game.

Saturday, 16 April 2011 16:10 posted by Powell Wyoming Residents
"use of artificial as a safer surface"????? Are you kidding me? I'd like to see Stringer back that ridiculous statement up with fact.

Here are just a few links of study:

Sunday, 17 April 2011 23:36 posted by johny

Monday, 18 April 2011 16:55 posted by HildaMattson


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