August 18, 2015, 6:05 PM
SOUTH WINDSOR — After months of construction, school officials say South Windsor High School's new stadium should be finished at the end of next month.
Director of Facility Operations Patrick Hankard said Tuesday that the installation of the artificial turf field and the upgrades to the surrounding track have gone very smoothly since work started in June. Hankard said so far, everything is on track to be completed by the end of September.
Principal Daniel Sullivan said the new stadium will be a source of pride for students, athletes and the community. He added that the upgrades will also enhance the pace of play and level of consistency for players.
"There's a great deal of excitement," Sullivan said. "It has a lot of practical opportunity."
Crews from Turco Golf Inc. of Suffern, N.Y., have been working since June to install the turf and new track. The board of education in May approved the $1.6 million plan, created by the Cheshire-based consulting firm Milone & MacBroom.
Once completed, the stadium will have an artificial turf field able to accommodate football, soccer, boys' and girls' lacrosse, and field hockey, surrounded by a six-lane, quarter-mile track.
Superintendent Kate Carter said a date has not yet been set, but there will be a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of the project. She added that the annual Thanksgiving Day football game against Rockville will be hosted on the new field.
Athletic Director David Sytulek said, "It sends the message that we will provide our student athletes with top-notch facilities."
The initial bid for the project contained pricing and specification for three separate options for infills. This was in response to concerns about the project's use of crumb rubber, the small black pellets commonly used as infill on turf fields, and claims that the material contains carcinogens.
School officials selected one of the alternative infill options, an acrylic-coated sand called Envirofill.
Neighbors with property abutting the field also asked town officials to take steps to increase privacy and mitigate noise. As a result, Hankard, Parks and Recreation Director Raymond Favreau and high school staff are developing guidelines for using the field.
Additionally, the bleachers closest to the abutting fenceline have been removed and the field will not be lighted, Hankard said.
Earlier this year, the town council unanimously approved a lease-purchase financing agreement for the plan.
The town will pay $281,220 each year for seven years to fund the project.