Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Renovations begin at Keokuk High School stadium

The school has begun digging up the sod at Calvert Stadium
Will Buss
The Keokuk School District has started digging up the sod at Calvert Stadium. It will be replaced with an artificial turf.

A groundbreaking of sorts is underway at Keokuk High School.

The school district has begun digging up the sod at Calvert Stadium, which opened in 1964, and crews will soon also start digging up the cinder track that encircles the playing field.

A new artificial turf field will replace the grass and a new black-surfaced running track will take the place of the current red cinder track.

“We hope that our community sees this, and they take pride in this, and know that this is for our kids, and this is for our community, and this is for the people here in Keokuk,” said Athletic Director Zach Summers.

This is the first phase of a $4 million renovation at the stadium, where the KHS Chiefs play home varsity football and soccer games.

Additional phases will include refurbishing the stadium’s grandstand, concession stand, press box, and restrooms.

Summers said the new artificial turf will provide additional space for more sports, and will also provide space for other school activities.

“Dance teams are always looking for time on the field, but when the field was grass, we protected it as much as possible, so we didn't tear it up. But they'll be able to use that for practices now,” Summers said.

“Our band will be able to march down there in the mornings and not have to march on the practice field that's soaking wet. PE classes will be able to go out there now and just to be able to have a nice surface for our kids to practice on and for our kids to compete on.”

Summers said the new black-surfaced six-lane track will have an eight-lane straight away. He said the new surface will be safer and should bring conference track meets back to Keokuk.

“Having a track that's not going to give our athletes shin splints, that's going to be done the right way, the whole base of the track will be redone, it's going to be a lot squishier, it's going to be softer than what we've had before. That'll give our athletes a better chance to prevent injuries,” Summers said.

All the KHS track teams’ meets are currently being held away from home as the renovation project continues.

The new track and artificial surface field are expected to be ready when the next school year begins in the fall.

Tri States Public Radio produced this story.  TSPR relies on financial support from our readers and listeners in order to provide coverage of the issues that matter to west central Illinois, southeast Iowa, and northeast Missouri. As someone who values the content created by TSPR's news department please consider making a financial contribution.