For three years, the Killeen Independent School District put off replacing the turf at Leo Buckley Stadium, though the district knew that time was coming.
When the administration asked athletic director Tom Rogers if the turf could hold one more year, he had to say no.
They only warranty it for eight years, and weve done a good job of taking care of it, adding rubber to it ... to extend the life of it, Rogers said of the 10-year-old turf. But, weve got to a point where we were having seam failure, and when you have that, you have places were kids can catch their toes.
Work to replace the turf, originally installed in 2002 as one of numerous other upgrades done to Leo Buckley Stadium, is set to begin Monday and finish July 6. The 50-yard pieces of turf at Ellison, Harker Heights and Shoemaker high schools will also be replaced.
We got to a point where the fibers had warn down, so we couldnt really add any rubber because thats what wed be playing on, and theres not very good footing in that foam rubber, Rogers said.
We got all the life out of it that we could. Everybodys said theyve never seen turf that was 10 years old that looked that good.
Replacing the turf has been an item on the school districts strategic facility plan for the last three years, but its longevity allowed the district to put the project on hold until this year.
Rogers said the price of replacing turf at Leo Buckley is going to cost the district about $329,000, and the entire project, including the replacement of the smaller pieces at Ellison, Harker Heights and Shoemaker, will cost the district about $569,000.
Rogers has also been shopping around what it would cost to install turf in the smaller stadiums at Ellison, Harker Heights and Shoemaker, but said that was a project for much later down the road, estimating it would cost the district about $800,000 per site for the turf and infrastructure construction.
I got this and I was real pleased with that, Rogers said. I didnt really have to go in and beg for it. I put it on the strategic facility plan three years ago and so for two years, theyve said, Can we play another year and Ive said, Yes. ... This year, I said, Weve got to do it this year. And they were fine with it.