Today work started on the football field. "Continental Construction has donated the time and equipment to get this done" says Superintendent Koln Knight of Cushing Public Schools. "Its a considerable donation, without which we would not be able to get this done, for next year."
The benefit of removing the top soil was obvious to me as we were taking pictures of the site. The top soil being removed is now being used to level up and fill spots in the parking area, that have been messy during and after rain. The parking lot on the West side of the stadium is considerably lower and holds most of the run off from the stadium. This will make parking better and benefit the Cushing Loyal who come out to watch the Tigers each Friday evening. Dirt was also placed along the walkway to the West gate where erosion had taken place and made the ground uneven, and hazardous for fans.
You can watch this video to get an idea of how they are removing the top soil from the field. This is a big change that can impact football players, soccer players, and of course maintenance crews. The football field will take much less attention to prepare it for a game. Mowing and painting and grooming the field will be all but non existent.
Barrett Shupe, 5th year Head Coach of the Tigers said this. "The new turf project at O'Dell Field is another example of the vision that Mr Knight and the Administration have for the kids of Cushing. It will have a positive impact on multiple programs. We could not be more excited about this project."
Superintendent Koln Knight explained "If we were paying for the entire project estimates on a quality field like we are getting would be in the $750-900K range." He added "Continental Construction is donating equipment, labor, expertise." The base bid for the turf surface is $410,866. and is being paid for with Building Fund money. There will be no bond money used for this project." Mr. Knight also told RDMGtv, "The Board has been saving money in the building fund for several years as a reserve to cover the Bond projects if money ran short."
Cushing Public schools has been fortunate in many ways regarding funding. While during the downturn in the Oklahoma economy, CPS remains one of three schools, in the state, that have not cut education funding. Quite to the contrary, they have increased it for this next year. This is all due to the tank farm industry which surrounds the school district. Regarding the bond issue Mr. Knight had this to add, " We were very fortunate to receive competitive bidding and the Bond funds covered the projected projects and actually much more. We did not have to use the Building Fund to supplement the Bond Projects. " Also as an added benefit to the teachers, there was a $1500 stipend paid, just prior to Christmas in 2015.
CPS continues to enhance their facilities when other schools in the state cannot. This ads value and quality of life to those who choose to educate their children in Cushing, makes our city more appealing in which to live. Something in which we all benefit.