YORKVILLE – The Yorkville High School football stadium is expected to be equipped with a gridiron of synthetic turf when the 2023 season kicks off next August.
School District Y115 is making plans for installing the artificial field at an estimated cost of $1.2 million.
Soil borings are the next step in the planning process, district Director of Facility Operations Heather DiVerde said. Work to construct the multilayered playing surface is to get underway next spring.
In addition, plans are being made to add seating, concessions and other improvements to the stadium in phases.
Meanwhile, the district also is considering major changes and upgrades to the baseball and softball fields.
The sophomore baseball field located behind the high school building would be transformed into the varsity field, DiVerde said. That field and the softball field could possibly be fitted with synthetic turf, either partially or completely.
Like the football stadium, plans are being made to upgrade those facilities with concessions, bathrooms and new seating.
“We’ll see what’s in the budget and if we can build it in-house,” DiVerde said.
Money for the projects will be coming from the district’s capital fund. Two years ago the district generated $9 million for capital improvements through the refinancing of bonds.
Whatever is decided for the playing surfaces at the football and softball field, work is expected to start in the spring of 2023 and be completed that fall.
The synthetic field for the football stadium is coming just a couple of years after the installation of a rubber running track around the grass field.
DiVerde said that a bridge will be built over the track to allow heavy excavation equipment onto the field.
Spectators will see only the green synthetic fibers, but underneath will be multiple layers of rubberized infill designed to protect athletes from concussions.
Below that, the subsurface will be fitted with pipes for the field’s drainage system.
Once complete, the turf field will require little maintenance, DiVerde said.
However, the maintenance staff will need to sweep the field once a week with a giant magnetic device to extract metallic objects, including jewelry, from between the synthetic fibers.
“It’s shocking what you pick up,” DiVerde said.