Even with no one competing on the field or track this spring, things are anything but quiet at Kingston Stadium. The District is well underway with a Board-approved renovation of the 57-year-old stadium. Workers are currently preparing the field for the installation of a new field turf surface. That excavation process is leaving behind mountains of dirt. It’s not piling up, however; the City of Cedar Rapids is using the soil to fill in foundations remaining after flood-ruined houses are demolished.
“We certainly appreciate the opportunity for this dirt to used to support the City’s recovery,” explained Matt Dunbar, Associate Director of Human Resources.
Once the ground excavation is complete, a sub-base drainage system will be installed and covered with a synthetic grass surface. The synthetic grass field will provide a safe, multi-purpose playing surface that can be used in any type of weather conditions. The field will have permanent football and soccer markings, further eliminating the need for painting.
“The annual maintenance cost for a synthetic turf are minimal compared to natural grass field,” noted Dunbar. “The District is expected to save $30,000 to $40,000 a year in maintenance costs.”
Additionally, the Kingston renovation project includes lighting improvements, the construction of two new public restrooms, concrete restoration, and the remodeling of two existing restrooms. The estimated cost of $2.8 million will be funded through the School Local Option Sales Tax ($2.2 million) and PPEL funds ($600,000).
“In its 57 year history, Kingston Stadium had only received upgrades with the running track and scoreboard,” Dunbar added. “It was time to address the infrastructure needs. The concrete restoration insures decades of continued service for the stadium. The electrical upgrade, including new lighting fixtures and taller poles will double the light output on the track and field and reduce light spillage to the surrounding neighborhood. The new restrooms will provide safe, handicapped accessible facilities for the public. The synthetic surface will enable the District to provide a consistently safe, multi-purpose playing surface which will allow a greater number of District and public events.”
The renovations are scheduled to be completed by Aug. 2. The 2009 Kingston football season begins Thursday, Aug. 27 with a football match up between Jefferson and Xavier high schools.