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Sports

Weather aiding athletic capital project progress

SPRINGVILLE—Sept. 6, that is the deadline set for a series of improvements that involve athletics at Springville-Griffith High School.

Those improvements range from enhancements circling the football field to the reconstruction of a locker room, and account for approximately $4 million of the near $28 million capital project total.

“It’s going very well and I think our progress is right on schedule. We have a campus construction management team whom we have hired to run the project. They are daily attending to deadlines and making sure the contractors are on target,”  S-GI Superintendent Kimberly Moritz said. “We’ve been lucky with weather and there’s been a great deal of progress, but I’m always nervous about everything being done in time for the start of school and our first home football game Sept. 7.”

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The feature part of the athletics construction is the expansion of the track to eight lanes. The track will also incorporate a steeplechase pit with new areas to accommodate competitions in pole vault, long jump and triple jump.

The overall improvements to the track will make it eligible to host sectional and regional competitions for the first time.

The entrance to the football field will also be new including fencing, as well as the press box. New concrete will serve as an outer area of the track and around the concession areas, and additional parking areas will be created and paved adjacent to the high school’s athletic areas.

“There were so many things within this $28 million that we needed to take care of,” Moritz said of the overall capital project. “Our parking lots, our sidewalks, our HVAC system, this is a very much ‘need to do’ project with very few – what you would call – ‘enhancement’ items like the press box and the locker room in the basement of the high school.”

Although the press box appears to look complete, Moritz is promising more, “It’s the most plain-looking on the planet. We have all sorts of plans to dress it up.”

The track is in the final grading and paving stages with finishing touches being made to the new fencing.

“I think one of the most exciting things is the brand new entrance way. We will honor Pop Warner Field with a new entrance way that will have an entrance more befitting of the Pop Warner name. We had that chain-link fence entrance way that was not exactly a welcoming open area,” Moritz said. “We have a beautiful entrance way planned that will be up this year for the start of the season.”

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Moritz was also quick to add that the district is no longer charging admission for football games and that the community is welcome to attend free of charge.

The current project does not include new bleachers or a new scoreboard, though the scoreboard had to be moved back to make way for new track lanes. Shot put and discus pits will remain as they currently are.

To be as fiscally responsible as possible, Moritz is looking to take advantage of about a 79 percent return of the project’s expense from the state where appropriate.

“It’s a very complicated formula, but we’re grateful that our aid is that high,” she said. “Although we won’t know the exact dollar amount that we will get from the state until the project is complete, we’ve done everything we could possibly do to maximize the aidable expenses on this project.”

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