Waterloo Community Schools are moving forward with their plan for laying turf at the Waterloo Memorial Stadium, and, heavier use of the Memorial Stadium is expected as a result of the artificial turf.
The Waterloo Board of Education approved a $977,158 contract early in April, for the laying of turf at the Memorial Stadium, located adjacent to Waterloo’s Central Middle School, which is where both the East and West high schools hold their football games, as well as where they host track meets.
The Lees Summit, Mo., will handle the installation of the AstroTurf after getting rid of the natural turf, plus the laying down of two feet of aggregate. Part of the contract terms also include the construction of a new long jump area in a new place, as well as the removal of the currently existing runways and pits. The funding for the project will come from physical plant and equipment levy funds.
Work on the project began on the 19th of April, after the last track meet of the spring season ended. When completed, the East name will be located on the stadium’s end zone closest to the school building, while the West name will be on the other end zone, on the other end of the stadium.
Artificial turf generally lasts for about a decade before replacement is necessary. Des Moines, one of the firms working on the project had one of its RDG Planning & Design, Jason Blone, explain that the turf for the Memorial Stadium has an eight year warranty, with costs for replacement sitting at about half of installation costs.
Superintendent Jane Lindaman says that a lot of Iowa school districts have already made the switch to artificial turf for their fields, and Waterloo is one of the few that haven’t followed suit and gotten to work on laying turf on their fields.
On top of increased usage, the new turf also doesn’t need mowing and the other forms of maintenance natural turf needs; needing only anchoring and straightening once a year. Grass also requires the limiting of uses due to wear and tear, with the marching of bands at half-time being one of the toughest things on turf. When the stadium is not occupied by athletes, it can be used for the community, with Board Member Shanless McNally says that they’re expecting a lot of people to use the new facility.