SPS approves construction projects at JFK Stadium, Kickapoo High School

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) – The Springfield Board of Education approves thousands in renovation and construction work at JFK Stadium and Kickapoo High School. There are three main projects that the district aims to complete over the summer, with a more than $1 million total price tag.

At Kickapoo High School, the district will replace the turf football field that’s been in use for roughly ten years. Executive Director of Operations Travis Shaw says a few years ago, the district conducted safety testing at the turf fields at four high schools. Based on that testing, the district put a staged plan in place to replace the fields at all four schools.

“As we began that testing a couple of years ago, Glendale High School was the one that needed it first based on those tests,” says Shaw. “Then Hillcrest was done just this past summer. Kickapoo will be replaced this summer, and then Parkview will be in line the next summer. And so those fields, with proper maintenance and preventative procedures in place, will get us anywhere from 10 to 12 years of life expectancy before we would have to replace them again.”

Shaw says the project will get started once summer hits and should be done before football practice starts later this year. It will cost the district more than $640 thousand to replace the field and the goal posts.

Repairing the track at JFK Stadium at Parkview will also get started over the summer. Shaw explains the track needs to be resurfaced to address normal wear and tear from over the years. Shaw says standing water in the D-zone, the area between the end zones and the track, will also be addressed by installing a better stormwater drainage system. Smaller safety-related items are on the to-do list inside the stadium as well.

“Surfacing issues will be taken care of around the jump pits and some of those areas to make it as safe as possible so that when kids are here practicing or at meets, they’re all as safe as they can possibly be,” says Shaw.

Work on the track will cost $368,700, and will be completed over the summer.

What could end up being the most exciting of the three projects will happen in the area beside the batting cages at JFK Stadium. SPS has partnered with Missouri State University to build a throwing area for track and field events like javelin and shot put. Shaw explains the area will be used by students at Parkview, as well as students at the college. He says it will be built to meet NCAA specs, so the university can host track and field events right here in Springfield.

“It’s great for both groups,” says Shaw. “It not only meets a need for them, but it also provides a state-of-the-art facility that is something that we can be proud of as a district and showcase for many years to come.”

The work will get started during the summer and will cost SPS $390 thousand dollars in the short term. Missouri State University will reimburse that cost.

“Being able to have all the throwing events in one area usually doesn’t happen,” says Shaw. ” Right now we have discus clear on one end of the field, and then we’ve got shot put on the other. It creates a lot of logistical issues when it comes to practice and supervision as well as track meets. It’ll be a great place where we can have all of that together.”

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