The Grand Ledge Community Stadium Project has become a reality. The year-long fundraising effort for the stadium has achieved approximately 90% of the funds necessary to complete the work. The Community Stadium campaign will continue through the summer as work begins to install a new safe and consistent playing surface that will dramatically increase usage of the stadium.
“This will provide significantly more opportunities for our students; and at the same time, be a much more efficient facility, saving an enormous amount of money,” said Grand Ledge Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Brian Metcalf. “We will no longer have to water the field all summer long, or apply fertilizer, or paint lines or mow.”
The GL Community Stadium Committee is busy at work continuing to raise the remaining dollars needed for the project. Currently more than 350 community members and businesses have donated money to make this a reality for our community.
Last week renovations began when the GLPS maintenance department took out the interior fence that surrounds the playing field. The summer months promise to be a very busy time in the stadium. Several local businesses have volunteered services, providing needed equipment, manpower and materials for the new field.
The current grass field will be removed this month. The construction schedule has a completion goal of June 26th for the rough grade of the new sub-base. Installation of the new drainage system will start the same week with plans to lay down the limestone base on July 3rd. Once the limestone base is finished crews will start work on the concrete curb that will surround the synthetic surface.
The Community Committee has selected Prograss to handle the synthetic turf installation and their work is slated to start in the stadium on July 17th, putting down the new surface in time for the fall sports season with markings for football, boys and girls soccer, and boys and girls lacrosse. A draft schedule for the stadium shows Comet teams utilizing the improved facility 67 days in a 75 day period in the fall of 2017. The field was only used 13 days throughout the entire 2015-16 school year.
“It can be used and used often,” said head football coach Matt Bird. “Using the stadium Spring, Summer and Fall and not having to worry about damaging the surface will be an improvement that would truly be an investment.”
Comet students athletes, physical education classes and youth recreation programs will see the benefit of the new community stadium right way.
“In the fall, football, boys soccer and marching band will now have the opportunity to practice and play on a state of the art surface that will allow multiple uses,” said Steve Baker, Director of Athletics and Community Recreation. “This is a very exciting time for our school and community as we see this investment pay immediate dividends for our entire school district.”
For more information on the project or to find out how you can help please visit www.glcommunitystadium.com
Additional information on the stadium improvements can also be found by visiting the GLPS district web page at www.glcomets.net