Memorial Stadium project on track, officials say

These days, Memorial Stadium looks more a gravel pit than a place to play football, but all that will change in the coming weeks.Workers are approaching the final stages of installing a $758,000 artificial playing surface at Memorial, along with other renovation projects at the stadium.The field installation began earlier this year and is expected to be completed by late May, Assistant Superintendent Danny Ferrell said.Workers first installed a drainage system, then a thick layer of limestone rock. Next will be a second, smoother layer of rock before the turf is installed, Ferrell said.In a way, installing the turf will be like sewing an incredibly large quilt, he noted.“The turf comes in 5-foot sections,” Ferrell said,” and they'll have to sew the sections together.”Barring any unforeseen developments, installation of the new turf should begin sometime next week.The stadium, which has been basically unchanged since its construction in the early 1950s, is getting other facelifts, as well.Renovation has begun on the stadium press boxes and dressing rooms, said Wayland Pierce, who is the school district's liaison with construction crews.Big Spring school district crews are installing air conditioning, lockers and furniture in the dressing rooms.“We're really giving the dressing rooms a complete dress-up, just a new look and everything,” Pierce said. “We're just making them more inviting places for other teams … It's something that's definitely been a long time in coming.”Both press boxes will receive air-conditioning equipment, as well, Pierce added.Other plans for the stadium include renovations of the restrooms and concession stands.“After this (football) season, we'll redo the restrooms and concession stands,” Pierce said. “There's just not enough time to get everything done before football season begins … so we'll be looking to do those renovations in the next budget year.”