Work begins to install turf at Cougar Stadium
By Gary Lloyd
CLAY — Talk about a literal meaning of taking the football to pay dirt.
Work began last Tuesday on the installation of artificial turf at Cougar Stadium on the campus of Clay-Chalkville High School.
Excavators instead of defensive linemen, tractors instead of linebackers and dump trucks instead of offensive linemen lined and cleared the field of its natural grass.
The Jefferson County Board of Education in early June approved a bid for the installation of artificial turf on the football field. Shaw Sports Turf was the lowest responsible bidder with a bid of $480,000. The total cost of the project is $516,664.51 and will be equally divided between the city of Clay and the Jefferson County Board of Education.
The agreement was contingent on the city of Clay paying its half up front.
The Clay City Council in May voted to enter into a facilities use agreement with the Jefferson County Board of Education, in which the city would provide up to $265,000 in exchange for usage of all school sports facilities through June 30, 2029. The board of education has approved the intergovernmental agreement.
Under the agreement, Clay would also save on various rental fees. Through the previous agreement, city officials could request the use of school facilities, such as gyms and fields for recreational use, a sometimes time-consuming task. The city was also responsible for paying rent for the use of those facilities. Councilman Kevin Small estimated that the city would save more than $150,000 in fees from basketball alone by entering into this agreement. This means that, for the city, a new field could pay for itself in less than two years. The city will still be responsible for the electricity used for events.
The new field is expected to be completed in early to mid August. Clay-Chalkville’s first home football game is scheduled for Aug. 29 against Minor.
Hewitt-Trussville is also looking to add artificial turf at the new Hewitt-Trussville Stadium. “Remediation services” for the upcoming season have been approved for the field at Willie Adams Stadium at Pinson Valley High School, making it likely that something more permanent will be done next year.
Contact Gary Lloyd at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.