Southern Local stadium receives upgrade

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Submitted Photo Work is underway to replace the turf on Southern Local’s Wigwam stadium along with other improvements.

Southern Local High School’s Wigwam Stadium will have a fresh look when the Indians kick off the football season this fall as officials improve its surface and lighting.

Superintendent Tom Cunningham said work wrapped up on an estimated $518,906 turf replacement project and new material was purchased from FieldTurf, which has companies across North America including Buckeye Lake. Officials said the sod was of a higher quality and the stadium had not received improvements in years.

  “We removed the old turf and put in new. This is upgraded field turf which has a longer warranty and is safer,” Cunningham added. “The field has extended its life and is 12 years old. It was worn out and it was time to replace it.”

According to its website, FieldTurf has completed more than 25,000 fields worldwide and installs a variety of specially designed turf from the multi-layer, dual-polymer CORE fiber to Classic HD to maximize durability and safety. The turf was installed by VASCO of Massillon beginning in May and was finished around June 12.

 “The football field wrapped up and we need to schedule a walkthrough and inspection,” Cunningham said. “There are a couple of areas we want to take a look at before we sign off. Overall, everything looks fantastic.”

 He added that the district was next looking to add some illumination with an estimated $220,000 lighting project this summer.

  “We are upgrading our stadium lights as well and had a preliminary meeting with Musco Sports Lighting [of Iowa], which has done a majority of stadium lights. The lights will be delivered the first full week of August and we will have them installed for the first game.”

 He continued that the current lights were installed during the 1990s and contained halogen bulbs, but there had been issues during a game last year and they were dimming in lumens. The project aims to help improve visibility by having brighter and more efficient LED bulbs.

 Cunningham noted that both projects were being financed through permanent improvement funds. Meanwhile, leaders approved a $600,000, six-year loan from Consumers Bank to finish work at the stadium as well as potential locker rooms and restrooms for the wrestling room, but there was no timeline for the latter plan.

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