Groundbreaking slated for Monday

When shovels break ground next week for the new turf field at Cowboy Stadium, Abilene High School will become the third North Central Kansas League School to have a turf football field.

Wamego and Concordia have had their turf field in place for a couple of years. The Cowboys will once again play both of these teams in football over the next two years schedules after Wamego was off the schedule the past two seasons.

Brian Morris, vice-president of Professional and Collegiate Operations, of Mammoth Construction in Meriden, Kansas, said that representatives of Mammoth and Abilene schools would have a groundbreaking ceremony Monday, May 18 at 3 p.m. in Abilene.

“What Abilene is doing is going to impact the community greatly and will also impact the lives of current student athletes and upcoming students,” Morris said. “This addition to the schools will have a big impact on the community as to how it is seen by others who come to Abilene. It’s like having a new front porch.”

Following the groundbreaking ceremony, Morris expects that Mammoth will begin demo on the current field, track and bleachers to begin soon after.

“Once we have all the plans completely finished we will begin demo,” Morris said. “We will begin tearing out the existing track, grass field and bleachers on the home side of the field.”

Morris confirmed that plans are being discussed to save the grass field and topsoil to be used at Ted Power Baseball Field. Discussions are in the works with Abilene Parks and Recreation to use the topsoil and grass for a new infield at Ted Power. Work on that will depend upon the summer activity schedule.

The new turf and track will be moved east about 10 feet from its current location according to plans discussed by Morris. He indicated that both the track and the football field would be a little wider than they are currently. There also will be a fence around the field and track and a new walkway around the entire facility.

Mammoth is one the nations leaders in installing turf fields and sports construction. They have done several Kansas High Schools and many major college fields including the turf at Bill Snyder Family Stadium at Kansas State University.

The beginning phase of the construction calls for the track, turf and bleachers to be ready before the beginning of the season. Phase two which will include a new locker room, public restrooms and concessions facilities may not be completed before the season begins but according to Morris plans call for them to be finished sometime this year.

“We are so excited to have Abilene as a major project and look forward to using photos of the completion on our website,” Morris said.

Contact Ron Preston at sports@abilene-rc.com.

Contact Ron Preston at sports@abilene-rc.com.

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