Work set to begin on Indian Creek High School’s Kettlewell Memorial Stadium
WINTERSVILLE — Indian Creek High School’s Kettlewell Memorial Stadium will get a new look with improvements scheduled to begin Monday.
The football field is receiving artificial turf to replace the current grass field and updated lighting. The district’s plan is to have everything finished before the football team opens its season in the fall.
District Assistant Superintendent John Belt said the grass will be replaced with artificial material from Canada-based Field Turf.
School board officials contracted with sports field architect J.T. Sauer and Associates of Burgettstown to undertake the project.
The firm has been involved in similar projects at West Virginia University, West Liberty University and Brooke High School.
“It will be a multi-sport artificial surface that will be used for soccer and football,” Belt said. “The soccer team currently plays at the field in Mingo Junction.”
Belt said the turf will make the stadium look better and will provide a safer playing surface for the athletes.
“You don’t get those mud pits in the later season where a knee or ankle goes the wrong way,” he said.
Belt added that in a sport where a concussion is always a worry, the surface is tested to make sure it meets national standards.
“The do a (give) test,” he said. “In a sport where a player is tackled and goes backwards, the impact on the back of his head is a huge concern. In the later season when the ground is frozen on a natural surface, there is no give.”
Belt also added it will be better for school band members whose current practice field also serves as overflow parking for the games.
“The ground develops ruts over the season and they could (harm) an ankle,” he said. “Now they always have a safe place to practice.”
Belt said the trend shows that more and more high schools are going for the turf over their natural fields.
Prestige Energy of Michigan will upgrade the site with LED lighting.
The project entails removing the metal halide and cans containing the bulbs and replacing the lights with LED fixtures on the existing light poles.
“It’s set to start (Monday) and will take about six to eight weeks,” Belt said. “The stadium will be closed to the public during construction.”
He said the last project at the site included updating the women’s bathrooms and painting under the grandstands five years ago.
“We’ve done periodic maintenance and repairs, but as far as significant work it’s been five years,” Belt said.
The projects are being financed through a tax anticipation loan supported by permanent improvement funding.
The district also plans to give its transportation garage a fresh coat of paint.
Belt said the bus parking bays will be painted this summer to match the red and white on mechanics bays and work should start after July 1.
Fitzpatrick Roofing and Painting of Barnesville, the same company which completed the mechanics bay update last summer, has been contracted for the latest work.
“The last time it was painted was 15 years ago and (this project) should take a week,” Belt noted.
The stadium, including the track, will be closed to the public during the upgrades.