By MIKE COURSON
Great Bend Post
The Great Bend High School track and field state athletes are headed to Wichita Friday. It's a good thing. The track and football field at the school's Memorial Stadium will be closed as of May 25 as renovation work begins. Last November, the USD 428 Board of Education approved up to $2 million for the replacement of the track and turf. Activities Director Matt Westerhaus said they're hoping for an August completion date.
"The track that had been open for public usage, and the turf that had been open for public usage will be unavailable during the construction timeframe," he said. "We're not sure on the completion date of when everything will be back open in regards to the track and turf."
Texas-based Hellas Corporation has done work in some of the biggest facilities in the nation and will be handling the work in Great Bend. Changes will include a bi-color track, two tones of green on the football field, and the "D Zone" on the north end of the football field will be covered with track material. The paw logo at the 50-yard line will also be replaced with the Panther logo. The track was last replaced in 2004, and the turf was last replaced in 2008.
"They got everything they could out of the track and turf, which is a kudos to the district for being diligent with money," Westerhaus said. "The track, it needs a lot of TLC. Ripping everything up and starting over is going to be a great thing for us."