Exeter gets ready for stadium renovation
By Paul Myers
exeter – The Exeter Unified School District (EUSD) Superintendent, Tim Hire and other top influential members of the district are getting ready to break ground today, Wednesday, Aug. 9. With shovels in hand they will be the first ones to dig into Monarch Stadium’s renovation.
According to Hire the renovation should be complete by early October. More specifically he hopes it will be ready by Oct. 6 for homecoming.
“How cool would be if our first game on the new turf is our homecoming game,” Hire said.
Of course Oct. 6 is a tentative date and would keep contractors, Valley Precision Grading, Inc., on a pretty tight timeline barring any setbacks from weather or unforeseen complications. But Hire is optimistic that completion will be done by then and thinks that it is a reasonable expectation.
In all, the project is replacing the stadium’s all weather track, putting in turf, reorganizing some of the track event stations and installing proper drainage around and underneath the field. As a by-product, the field will also be level. For years the football field has had a sizable crown in the middle of it for draining purposes. And now that they are ripping out the grass and adding drainage they are able to level the entire field and make it even. At the center of the field will be an emblem of the Exeter Monarch Lion with a crown.
The total bill for the project is an estimated $1.4 to $1.6 million from the $28 million school bond, Measure K, passed last November. The bond is also helping to pay for a solar panels, compressed natural gas (CNG) filling stations and a bus barn meant to protect buses from extreme heat and rain.
And while the project will be done this year the football team is going to have to be patient for the first half the season. New head coach Keirsten Lamb said that his team will have to become road warriors for the first stretch of the season. To start the season the Monarchs will play Lindsay, Woodlake and McLane all on the road. Their first “home” game is slated to be played at Lindsay high school against Taft and then they take on the Golden West Trailblazers at Groppetti Stadium.
If all goes well the Monarchs will take the field against Kingsburg on Oct. 6.
By winter, soccer season will be ready to roar and their performance may even be improved. After long rains the field would be spotted with puddles and mud that would slow down the ball. Now with proper drainage there will be less standing water, and of course without dirt there will not be any mud.
There is also the added benefit of water conservation. During the drought school administrators were concerned with the harsh dry field. The District was forced to go to the Exeter City Council to and ask for an exemption on water conservation measures. Their reasoning was that the fields would not be usable unless they were watered consistently. But with turf there is little need for water outside of some maintenance.