The playing surface at Kiro-Gambrell Field is getting a complete overhaul, and the Jasper Vikings should be using the new turf before the end of summer workouts.Russ Russell, a partner with …
The playing surface at Kiro-Gambrell Field is getting a complete overhaul, and the Jasper Vikings should be using the new turf before the end of summer workouts.
Russ Russell, a partner with Warner’s Athletic Construction, said work on the project is moving along on time with completion scheduled for late July. Russell spoke Thursday at the montly meeting of the Jasper Vikings Quarterback Club.
“This is a team. A great project has a team,” Russell said. “The team starts with a great architect, which we all have, hopefully a great contractor and a great client. So far, everything has been wonderful on this project and should stay that way.”
The Jasper City School Board approved the artificial turf project back in February when it accepted a bid from Warner’s of $922,777.
“This is a major project, but it is going to be a fine product that will benefit our program and our school for years,” said Bryan Moore, head football coach at Jasper High.
Russell said dirt work is nearing completion with the next step in the process being drainage. That phase will include placing rock on the field, which will later be covered by the artificial turf.
“People are usually surprised when they see the amount of rock that comes in,” Russell said. “That is all part of the drainage process.”
Russell said the field will slope downward slightly to allow drainage to take place in the creek near Viking Drive.
Once the drainage work is finished, rainfall will not affect the remainder of the process. The surface will be put down at that point and a tedious amount of detail work will begin on graphics, Russell added. The field will feature black end zones, and there will be a large Viking head graphic in the center.
“That takes a lot of time,” Russell said. “Once the surface is there, people expect it to be ready quickly. That’s just not the case. Those details take time.”
Russell said Warner’s Athletic Construction has handled fields from the indoor practice facility at Mississippi State to the playing field at Fenway Park.
“People always ask what my favorite projects are, and it is the projects like this,” he said. “This is a tightknit community with people who care about this program and want it to succeed. This is a very fun, positive environment.”
The look of the playing surface was compared by Russell to the field at Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville.
“There’s a slight difference, but it is basically the same field,” he said. “It is going to look very nice on Friday nights.”