If you have not been by Bobcat Stadium in a while then you have missed alot. Bobcat Stadium has taken on a new look over these past few months and the work is continuing even at this writing. With all of the rain and wind that has occurred over the past few weeks, we have had a difficult time finishing the running track. However, they are currently putting on the base asphalt coat and preparing the surface for the final running mat. The base asphalt should be finished as of September 26, 2006 and then it requires 14 days of curing prior to the final polyurethane surface being put down on top of the asphalt. Therefore, if the weather continues to stay warm (the surface has to be above 50 degrees for it to stick) then we will put the new surface down in a couple of weeks. Also if you have noticed, we have moved the pole vault to the west side of the stadium outside the track and the long jump and triple jump will be outside the track on the east side of the stadium. We have also increased the size of the high jump pad in the north end zone. These moves and size increases were done mainly to provide better safety for the athletes competing in these activities, to remove them from the football playing area as much as possible for safety and to better use our space around the stadium so that it will be easier to watch these events even from the comforts of your automoblie.
Also new at the stadium is the concession area/restrooms. The old building was worn out and did not meet the requirements of some of our patrons. The concession stand had also become outdated and non-functional in many ways over the years. The new stand and restrooms should last Sunray ISD for many, many years and also be very functional.
The lights were also replaced and all of the electrical wiring was placed underground for safety. The old lights had become harder and harder to maintain and the stability of the poles and wiring had become a question. We were generating somewhere around 15 footcandles of light out on the field for games and the UIL standard minimum is 30 footcandles with 50 recommended. The new lights are much more energy efficient with less fixtures and less poles, but they put out well over the 50 footcandle recommendation and will burn in and be maintained at a 50 footcandle minimum. This project was also done for safety, efficiency and to bring our lighting up to the required standards.
Another project out at the stadium included the replacing of the boards in the stands as they had all rotted out and had become a safety issue. We are also currently fabricating some grab bars to place in the bleachers to help anyone needing assistance to be able to get in the stands easier. We hope to have those up by the start of district competition.
The final upgrade at the stadium is the replacing of the sign that is over the entrance to the stadium. The old sign was very nice, but it had not been maintained as it held the years that Sunray Bobcat Football had made the playoffs. It was cut out of metal and welded to the poles, so long term maintenance of all the playoff teams and the increased number of playoff teams we have had in recent years and hope to have in the future made the sign hard to maintain. Because of this, we have gone to a sign at the stadium that just gives the name of the stadium. The sign keeping track of the playoff teams is now located on the side of the field house. We have been talking about either moving that sign over to the stadium or adding a smaller version of that sign on the side of the concession stand. The final decision on this sign has not been made at this writing, but if you want to see all of the dates of the playoff teams, then just drive up to the field house and they are all there in a much more manageable fashion.
I hope you all like the improvements we have made at the stadium as we have tried to make it a place that is safe for our students, competitors and fans and a place that all of Sunray can be proud of and call our stadium.
I would also hope that all of you will work with me to keep all of the new improvements looking good and will help me make sure that we take care of what we have built out at the stadium. We are goin to ask that you make sure you use only walking shoes on the track and that you do not take dogs or other animals out on the track with you. We also do not want any skates, skateboards, bicycles or any other type vehicles on the track surface. Together, we can keep the track and the other facilities looking nice and maintain them so we can be proud of what we have here in Sunray.
If you ever see any type of questionable activity happening out at the track or for that matter at any part of our school campuses, do not hesitate to call me.