By RONDA GREGORY
News & Journal Staff Writer
The Robert C. Byrd Turf & Track Project for the Clarksburg high school of the same name is on track, school officials report, in spite of some prior delays caused by Mother Nature’s rains.
The project, which broke ground June 18, is right on time with turf being laid in the end zone Tuesday, Aug. 4. “The field should be ready for the first football game Sept. 11,” reports Scott Davis, Robert C. Byrd High School Assistant Principal and Athletic Director.
The main purpose of the $1 million effort is to upgrade the grass football field with artificial turf – ProGrass. The turf is not just for looks, but is a safety measure as well, as there is more likelihood of foot and leg injuries on a grass field, Davis explained.
The other main aspect of the overall project is the track, coming in at $144,000 for its part. It will be the only 8-lane track in the region when completed. The contract was recently signed with All American Track Company to start construction.
“The track will be a collegiate-ready track,” Davis stated. “We’ll be able to hold all events in one facility – the pole vault and the shot put, for example.”
Davis said track construction should begin in early October, with completion set for either middle or late October.
The upgrade of the stadium, (which will accommodate 7,000 people), accompanying structures and playing areas will be a real boon to school spirit, as well as all of its practical advantages.
“The athletes are going to take pride in playing at a facility that is so nice,” Davis exclaimed, “and will be able to host playoffs at home, if they earn that honor.” (With the grass field, when rains came too hard, the team would have to use another school’s facility, even for playoff games.)
“It will be one of the best facilities in the state,” Davis exclaimed.
The RCB Boosters, parents and many community businesses and members have been working hard on fundraising for the project.
Davis stated that fundraising for this common purpose has brought people together and is important: “It’s an opportunity for our students and our community to come together; it allows the community to become part of the project.”
Davis said even with all the efforts so far, fundraising continues to be vital. “We still need a lot of help and are happy to take any support.”
To make a donation to the project or for more information, call the school at (304) 326-7200; or visit www.harcoboe.net/robertcbyrdhighschool.
The Clarksburg City Council members had authorized the city to invest the Business and Occupation tax paid by the contractors to be reinvested back into the project.