Liston Stadium receives face lift with new turf field, track

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field_use.jpg:Macintosh and Associates employee Don Hubbard spreads a water-resistant sealant.:

After a long summer of work and many delays, the renovations to Liston Stadium still are not completed. The paving of the north parking lot and the resurfacing of the track still are awaiting completion.

Athletic Director Dan Harris attributes many of the delays to the weather.

"When one portion of the project is set back a few days, it ends up pushing the whole thing back," Harris said.

Each portion of the project, including the track and turf, has a different crew involved, which can be difficult to coordinate, Harris said.

Another delay was caused when the group laying the track had a breakdown of equipment and was unable to make progress on its portion.

With all the delays and problems at the stadium, the project still shouldn't be too much over budget, Harris said.

"Anytime there are delays it can add more," Harris said. "Little things have come up, such as adding extra drainage, too."

The fall teams who make use of the stadium are all finding ways to adjust their practices to accommodate, but there are still worries.

"It's getting to the stage that we are concerned about scheduling events," Harris said. "The crews installing the track have been very congenial and are working with the teams to get on the turf."

Head football coach Mike Grossner had doubts going into the season about how well practice would work with only the practice field.

"Initially, we were concerned it would be a real problem," Grossner said. "We have 98 guys and only 60 yards of grass. Space is pretty squeezed down."

Grossner has remained positive about the situation, however.

"Our first game is on grass," Grossner said. "I've taken the mind set that we should practice on grass."

Harris said the coaches know on a day-to-day basis the availability of the turf for practice.

The soccer game scheduled for Aug. 27 at Liston Stadium has already been moved to the north park soccer facility.

"It makes me mad because it's really nice and would help the quality of our team play," Senior soccer player Shaun Nicklin said.

Nicklin has concerns about the condition of the north field.

"Our performance hurts every day when we play at north park because it's terrible," Nicklin said. "Our soccer facilities aren't good enough."

The north field isn't being overlooked, Harris said.

"We are still waiting on new bleachers for the soccer field," Harris said. "That's a real nice improvement for that field out there."

Even with all the problems, Harris remains optimistic about the project. The benefits to resurfacing the track could have big payoffs, Harris said.

"Moving from seven to eight lanes on the track qualifies us to host big meets in both high school and college," Harris said. "We will need to upgrade some track equipment in order to do that, but we are looking into that."

The new track was a much needed upgrade, Harris said.

"The quality of the old surface was really hard and caused injuries," Harris said. "The new surface is softer and can accommodate the junior high, high school and college athletes who all use it better."

The cost of the project is well worth it in Harris' opinion.

"It costs between $50,000 to $60,000 to take care of grass," Harris said. "Over a seven-to-eight-year period, the cost of the turf has paid for itself. It also allows us to displace maintenance to other areas."

The turf has definitely lived up to expectations, Grossner said.

"The turf is exactly as we wanted and envisioned," Grossner said. "It's the top turf made and when you walk out there, you can tell."

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