Starkville High School Athletics Director Stan Miller put forth his best effort at Tuesday night's school board meeting, but his proposal for program improvements failed to budge board members.
asked for more than $1 million to replace the football field's grass with artificial turf, resurface the track and expand the tennis courts, noting the upgrades would save money in maintenance and repairs, as well as generate revenue through tournament opportunities.
The biggest sticking point was time.
estimated six to eight weeks for the synthetic playing surface to be installed at Yellow Jacket Stadium.
The team will play their first home game against Noxubee County High School
The project would cost around $560,000, but Miller
said it would alleviate problems with the sprinkler and irrigation systems, which are costing thousands of dollars in field maintenance and repair each season.
Because the track circles the field and involves curbing, the resurfacing and turf replacement should be done concurrently, Miller
The track was built in 2000, but the athletics department ran out of money, so instead of adding an all-weather track surface, they installed unsealed asphalt.
Over the years, the surface has cracked, making a dangerous situation for runners, said Miller
"If you want shin splints, go run on our track," he
"No one will come run on our track."
Resurfacing the track would cost an additional $350,000, according to Miller
The final project would expand the tennis courts from six to 12, making tournament play possible and allowing the district to begin a middle school tennis program.
Grants could be obtained through the United States Tennis Association
for the $390,000 project, Miller
The synthetic field should last 10 to 14 years and would be relatively cheap to replace, Miller