It’s official. Blue is the new Golden Wave.
Tupelo Public School District’s Board has officially approved summer construction to replace and resurface the Tupelo High School track and football field.
“Throughout the process, Coach (Trent) Hammond and I have had the opportunity to speak with our community about being involved in this, and we have had great responses,” said first-year THS athletic director Andy Schoggin. “We’ve set a target goal for sponsorships and we are now at 80% of that goal.”
According to Schoggin at today’s TPSD Work Session, track and field will host regionals and demolition will begin shortly after Saturday, April 26th. It is expected to be completed “late July or early August” in anticipation of Tupelo’s first home football game against Center Hill Friday, August 22nd. Tupelo will open the 2014 season at Lafayette County, which also has artificial turf, Friday, August, 15th
“Our timeline is really urgent,” said Schoggin.
Hellas Construction out of Austin, Texas will be fully responsible for the demolition and construction of the entire project. According to Assistant Superintendent Dr. Matthew Dillon, Hellas provided the lowest and best bid which was a little less than $1.3 million. Bids were submitted March 27th.
Their impressive reputation is known all over the county. From their website profile…
Hellas is a nationwide sports contractor with a strong reputation for delivering premium-quality sports construction projects across the United States. In addition, Hellas has the ability to custom-manufacture and install proprietary brands of synthetic surfaces for sports fields, running tracks, and tennis courts, by controlling all related operations. In addition to a headquarters in Austin, Texas, Hellas operates several US-based offices. Clients include the NFL Experience, AT&T Stadium, Baylor University, University of California, Berkeley, Idaho State University, the Alamodome, Northern Arizona University, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, University of San Diego, University of Georgia and various other prominent high schools, collegiate institutions and stadiums.
In late 2013, Tupelo was granted approval from Boise State University to use their patented turf. Since 2009, Rachael Bickerton, BSU’s director of trademark licensing and enforcement at Boise State, has issued approximately 30 non-green playing surfaces – some retroactivity, because they were installed before she came on the job. Licenses are free. Of the licenses issues, 17 have been to elementary or high schools for blue or navy fields. This information is credited Chadd Cripe at the Bronco Beat of the Idaho Statesman.
The new track and football field will also serves purposes for band, soccer, various year-round practices, and third-party involvement such as the Southeast Selection Mississippi Combine run by Scott Robertson of FoxSports and Scout.com.
Special thanks to Chris Kieffer, Education Reporter at the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal in Tupelo for contributing immensely to this post. Follow him at @chriskieffer.