Henrietta's Bearcat Stadium will soon be the home of a new turf football field. Renovations are going on throughout the Henrietta Independent School District.
It's all part of a $3,000,000 rehabilitation program. One of the many projects is the new football field.
Workers are digging into the project in order to get the field ready for the first football game of the season. The new field cost the school $900,000.
The field was created, not only, for the school to have a nicer field but also to help with the current drought situation, according to Superintendent Jeff McClure.
The drought has a big impact on grass fields. The amount of water that goes into maintaining a large field is enormous, according Byron West, Henrietta Athletic Director.
"Like I said, we're not going to put any water on this," said Byron West. "Once we get the other two fields, our water is pretty much shut off, except for students."
The turf field will allow the school to have a nice field, without using extra water. The upkeep on natural grass fields also requires a lot maintenance.
"To create a field like this using natural grass, requires a tremendous amount of labor, and equipment," said Eddie Hill, Henrietta Director of Transportation and Ground Supervisor.
The new turf will also help with athlete safety, according to officials.
"The safety is our biggest aspect of it," West said. "The ground is getting so hard, and like I said, we can't put water on it."
If a natural grass field isn't properly maintained the ground could cause injuries to players, according to Hill.
"You've got to have safety," Hill said. "You're reliable. It could be a career ending injury."
Although the new field is costly, officials think the transformations are worth it.
"I've been here for 27 years with natural grass," Hill said. "At times we've had some fairly good looking fields, but this is a great looking field. I look forward to our boys hitting the field."
The Bearcat Stadium is expected to be ready by mid-July to August 1. The field will be ready for the upcoming season's first football game.
However, the football field isn't the only athletic field getting a makeover. The softball and baseball field will have turf installed this fall.
The total cost of the turf project it $1,890,075. Other renovations include roofing repairs to the technology and agriculture buildings, a new greenhouse, and new seating in the auditorium.
Those renovations totaled near $400,000. The rest of the money for renovations will be used by replacing windows and light fixtures. The new rehabilitation plan is drought prevention focused, according to Superintendent Jeff McClure.