DUNCAN, OK (KSWO)- Coming this fall, Duncan High School Football players, and band members will be stepping onto a new field at the Halliburton Stadium. Workers began installing artificial turf last week.
When it rained on the field's old grass surface, the football team, the soccer team and the band would often have to cancel practice or move to another location, because it was just too muddy and soggy. That won't be a problem anymore.
Head Football Coach and Athletic Director Craig Benson said when students heard the news about the project they were excited.
"Like anything else its a new toy so its Christmas come early for them," said Benson.
Benson said the idea for installing artificial turf has been tossed around for years, but last fall, a group stepped up with the mission of making it finally happen.
Over the next several weeks, they began seeking out community leaders and others who would be willing and able to provide funding for the 852,000 dollar project. By February, thanks to donations from several people in the community, as well as two major partners, including the Cal Ripken Senior Foundation in Baltimore, the goal was reached, and the planning process began.
"What says volumes about the project is the people in our community, in a a budget crisis have stepped up and put us in a situation that we can have something in the county that no one has," said Benson.
And he adds the turf will require little work and up keep unlike the grass surface.
"The only thing you have to do once a year is to dress it and that means you have to fluff the field and pick up anything that may have been dropped off a football helmet or a cleat.We don't have fertilizer, we don't have maintenance, up cutting, gas bills to have to pay, and it cuts down on our water bill," said Benson.
Benson said he is excited about the project and knows how much it will help all the students who use it.
"From a coach's standpoint this alleviates a lot of pressure when it comes to practice time to scheduling other events. so its really monumental for us," said Benson.
Benson said weather permitting, the project will take about 60 days, so it should be finished in plenty of time for the first football game this fall.