By BRAD KEITH
STEPHENVILLE (July 22, 2017) — Some are residents rumored it wouldn’t happen, but alas, with plenty of time to spare before the first Stephenville High School game on September 1 and the first Tarleton State University home contest on September 9, the new state of the art CoolPlay artificial playing surface by FieldTurf, appears ready to go at Memorial Stadium.
Officials from the Tarleton Athletics Department will inspect the turf before signing off on its completion. The installation crew that worked until 9 p.m. some nights was not on site late this week. The new, brighter green turf has purple end zones bearing ‘Tarleton’ in block white text. The midfield logo is the purple block-T with white trim laid over a white Texas edged in purple.
“CoolPlay is an exclusive system to FieldTurf and is designed to keep the playing surface up to 35 degrees cooler,” reads a June 9 press release from Tarleton Athletic Communications. “…The CoolPlay system has a top dressing of extruded composite (EC) that allows the turf to deliver the same behavior and stability as any other surface while keeping the temperature on the field lower.”
CoolPlay surfaces have recently been installed everywhere from Elgin High School to the University of Notre Dame.
The CoolPlay surface is the first phase of $26.4 million in renovations planned for the 66-year old stadium. The remainder of construction ncludes the Lonn Reisman Athletic Complex on the home side – which will be on the west side facing east, opposite its current location – as well as a new track and vast improvements all around.
The first Tarleton home contest this season falls on the eve of the two-year mark since Tarleton president F. Dominic Dottavio and athletics director Lonn Reisman announced the approval of $24 million for renovations by the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents. The remaining $2.4 million has been donated by Tarleton Athletics Hall of Fame member Mike A. Myers, who also donated the land for Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin, home of the University of Texas women’s soccer and men’s and women’s track and field teams in addition to the legendary Texas Relays, and the UIL Track & Field State Meet.
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