'a million dollar upgrade'
athletic field
Rotarians Rick Slater and Scott Edwards show plans for new athletic facilities.
'State-of-the-art' athletic fields coming to Hurricane

March 15, 2011

"A very special blend of synthetic grass" will be installed on athletic fields in Hurricane, Rick Slater told Putnam Rotarians today.

Slater, a managing partner of Dixon Hughes and a past president of Putnam Rotary, is leading the charge to bring state-of-the-art playing surfaces to the community for football, soccer, baseball and track.

By last September, a group of community supporters and staff at the high school had outlined improvements needed for athletic teams. In addition to playing fields, the list included such items as basketball courts, fences and roads.

"First State Bank stepped up early," said Slater, "and agreed to guarantee total funding so this first project, estimated to cost about a million dollars, could get underway.

The bank required a minimum of $500,000 in pledges to guarantee the effort.

"We have met that," Slater said. "Today marks the third month of raising money for this. We've been able to raise by this morning $860,000," said Slater.

Scott Edwards, Hurricane's mayor, expects to see community use of the new track and playing fields at the high school -- midget league and middle school groups on the turf and senior citizens walking the track.

"It will be a great economic boost for the community and the area," said the mayor.

Slater added that the City Council had waived business and occupation taxes for contractors on the construction.

"[The facilities] will not be owned by the football coach, the soccer coach, or the track coach. It's going to be used by everyone.

"They have a great soccer complex at the high school. The problem right now is that with all the rules changes, they can no longer play regional or state championship games. They have to be on a synthetic turf field.

"This [new football field] is a national regulation soccer field lined out as well," Slater added.

"A request for proposals went into the paper today," Slater said. The current project includes a brand new synthetic turf football field, a brand new polyurethane latex track -- that will be in red -- and a baseball infield.

"Depending on funding," he said, "we would like to get the outfield done as well.

"Bids are due from the turf companies on April 7th," said Slater. "Ground breaking will be on May 1st, and, weather permitting, we will have a complete turn-key project by July 29th."

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