MORRIS – Work continues to progress at the Morris Community High School football stadium.
MCHS is having an artificial turf field, a new scoreboard and new bleachers installed. The bleachers on the west side of the field will become the home bleachers, while the existing middle section of the east side bleachers will be for the visiting fans.
It is part of a $1.4 million project that also includes new scoreboards and a scorer’s table installed in the school’s main gymnasium, as well as work being done on the MCHS auditorium.
At the field, MCHS Director of Building and Grounds Mark Walker said that the work is moving along at a good pace.
“Everything is moving forward,” Walker said. “We have the stringers, which is the supports for the seating portion, up for the new bleachers. The scoreboard is probably about 90% ready to go. We are putting in play clocks, and pretty much everything is being done on time. We should be ready to go in the fall.”
In preparation for the installation of the turf field, Walker noted that first, the grass had to be taken up, and then some dirt had to be moved to get the proper grade for the field.
“After that, it was stabilized, and now the rock is going down and is being rolled. It is really starting to look like something.”
The stadium also will be getting new lighting, which was not in the original plan.
“Ayers Electric has been working on that,” Walker said. “The poles are all the same, but there are going to be new brackets and LED lighting. We figured it might cost a little extra, but we might as well do it while we have the chance and save a bigger expense of doing it later.”
The excavating work is being done by Byrne & Jones Excavating, the turf is being done by Midwest Sports & Turf Systems and the scoreboards are being done by Correct Digital Displays.
Walker also said that the MCHS auditorium is getting a face-lift this summer.
“We have put in new ceiling tiles,” he said about the auditorium. “We also have put in new seating and touched up some of the paint in there.
“There’s a lot going on at the school this spring and summer.”
Morris Athletic Director Jeff Johnson was pleased to see the work going so well.
“It is starting to look good,” he said. “With the bleacher supports up and the scoreboard in place, you can really see how it’s going to take shape. We still have some other things we want to do down the line, but with our new track, this facility is really going to look sharp.
“Even though it’s a pretty big cost up front, we are going to be very happy we have this. It’s not just for football. The soccer teams will use it, gym classes will use it, the youth football and soccer leagues will use it. It’s for the whole community.”