Turf replacement on schedule

CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo Jonathan Sullivan, left, Courtland Luscombe, middle, and Casey Crist, back, all of Texico, dig out a drainage line Thursday at Leon Williams Stadium. Sullivan’s uncle owns Stephen’s Construction and recruited his friends for a summer job.

By Kevin Wilson: CNJ staff writer

The Cats’ new carpet is on its way.

Sales representatives working with ProGrass estimate delivery of an artificial turf surface to Leon Williams Stadium Monday or Tuesday, with hopes to start installation by the end of the week.

“It looks like it’s on schedule,” said Art Moyle of AK Sales, which is working with ProGrass on turf conversions in Clovis and Roswell. “We should be ready to lay carpet by Thursday of next week.”

Moyle said he and a ProGrass representative will be in Clovis Friday to get an in-person look at Leon Williams Stadium.

Other than a rainy day two weeks ago, those working with the project have been thankful for excellent working conditions.

“Stevens Construction is on top of things,” Clovis Athletic Director Brian Stacy said. “They’re doing a fantastic job. We haven’t had any hiccups at all.”

Stacy said when the conversion project started, the target completion date was chosen to be Aug. 15 “for no specific reason.”

Assuming previous estimates of a four-day turf installation, the field will be ready before the current target date of Aug. 21. That would give the school more than a week before the Wildcats’ football season opener against Alamogordo.

Joel Shirley, deputy superintendent of operations for Clovis Municipal Schools, said Wednesday the project still required leech fields for drainage, a geo grid for stabilization, aggregate and rocks, compaction and overlay and time to blow on rubber granules.

The rocks, 1 1/2-inch roundstone, may be the most difficult process. Stacy said Wednesday crews had about 35 percent of the rock supply they needed, and the remaining amount needed may exceed the supply in the Clovis area.

“The rock’s available (in the state),” Shirley said. “We just might have to drive farther.”

Leon Williams Stadium is one of the first two New Mexico sites to use a field from ProGrass. The other is the Wool Bowl in Roswell, where AK Sales is located.

Moyle said the Wool Bowl turf was delivered Thursday morning, and installation is expected to start Monday. The Wool Bowl is shared by Roswell’s high school teams.

Should complications happen, Stacy has consistently said it wouldn’t be a problem flipping sites with Alamogordo. That’s a scenario Moyle said ProGrass would like to avoid.

“I know Alamogordo is looking at doing this turf next year, so this is going to be our showcase for the state,” Moyle said. “We’re very excited.”