SHERWOOD, AR – Currently there are six high schools in the Pulaski County Special School District. None are able to host a track meet, but in a couple of weeks one of them will.
Construction crews started laying down turf on Sylvan Hills High School’s football and track fields on Wednesday. The project started in early June, but Wednesday marked the first day students could get a clearer picture of what their future field would look like.
Originally, the school had plans to renovate the track surface, but the school’s athletic director, Denny Tipton, said the community helped collaborate in order to raise money to go toward new turf on the football field.
He said students wouldn’t be the only people to use the new track.
“We have churches, we have youth leagues, we have women groups that walk, you know, everybody uses the facility,” Tipton said.
The $1.5 million project, Tipton said, was scheduled to be completed by September 10th—giving the football team enough time to practice on it before the season’s first game on September 18th.
Once the project is complete SHHS will be the only school in the Pulaski County School District able to host competitive track meets. This was good news for student athlete De’Angelo Bell who played safety for the school.
“Now we can watch people run and do other stuff instead of just watching football games or soccer games on the field,” Bell said.
SHHS will become the second school in the district to have a turf football field instead of grass. The first school was Maumelle High School.
Bell and other SHHS safety, James Waller described the current football field as outdated and run down.
“Dull,” Bell said. “Very dull—we didn’t have any color.”
“We’re used to having a field that’s got some bumps in it,” Waller said. “When it rains a lot there’s mud everywhere.”
They were happy to get a new field just in time for their senior year.
“Having a nicer facility is going to be bragging rights,” Waller said.
The school’s principal, Tracy Allen said although SHHS underwent many renovations to the inside, the school’s outside needed a facelift especially because the community saw the outside first.
“We knew that we had to have something on the exterior that our community sees.”
The project is scheduled to be complete on September 10th. SHHS expects to host track meets by next season.
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