By Michelle Rodriguez

Killeen Daily Herald

COPPERAS COVE – The Copperas Cove school board voted unanimously Tuesday to approve to replace the turf surface at Bulldawg Stadium, which had seen eight years of wear and tear.

The school board had researched options to determine a cost-effective way to improve the stadium turf. After meeting with four vendors to determine quotes on turf replacement, board members decided to use Carter Construction.

Bulldawg Stadium features AstroPlay, a synthetic turf designed for high performance and heavy use. Southwest Recreational Industries Inc., installed the current turf in July 2001 and was estimated to have an eight-year lifespan. After the company went out of business in 2004, all other repairs were done at the school district's expense.

The stadium turf had undergone several repairs due to tears on the structure surface of the field. During the installation, the seams were joined together by glue. However, over the years, the glue products had broken down, causing an incessant need for repair. The scope of work through Carter Construction will include the seams to be sewn rather than glued.

Copperas Cove High School Athletic Director Jack Welch said that the entire field would not need to be replaced. The installation of the e-layer/sub-base layer that provides shock absorbency actually extended the life warranty and would not need replacement, he said, adding that the actual surface of the turf is the main focus.

To replace the entire turf from scratch would be a new project estimated to cost $800,000 and $900,000.

Coppeeras Cove Independent School District Superintendent Dr. Rose Cameron said the e-layer applied in 2001 was a good decision because it preserved the longevity of the field's warranty.

She added that she was confident it would still be in good condition. The turf replacement has nothing to do with the e-layer shock absorbency, but rather a hazard from the aging of the surface turf, she said.

"We're dealing with a number of students who will be on the field," Cameron said. "Adults are also out there working with these students, and we would never want anyone to be injured."

Deputy Superintendent Dr. Bobby Ott walked the stadium field Tuesday to show board members where tearing on the surface often occurred.

"We're getting tears from end zone to end zone (north-to-south)," Ott said. "When you get north-to-south tears, it becomes hazardous."

Athletic teams have played full seasons at the stadium. Some have accidentally pulled the turf with their feet, causing a safety hazard for many players, Ott said.

"These north-to-south tears don't run in the same direction that the seams run," Ott said. "That is a serious indication that the turf needs replacement."

The cost to replace the turf was quoted for $395,000. However, the exact price cannot be determined until the turf is removed and further damage is confirmed.

"We're recommending a total of $415k from the school district," Ott said. He added that the extra $20,000 would apply to any additional repairs found on the surface.

"The new field allows all teams to have a facility where athletes can practice during elements such as bad weather,"

Welch said. "Just about every sport can utilize the new turf."

The turf surface is expected to be replaced starting June 1. It will take approximately 30 to 45 days for completion.

Contact Michelle Rodriguez at or (254) 501-7475.

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