Weather aiding stadium construction
With the unseasonably warm temperatures, workers at Liston Stadium have been able to get ahead of schedule on the construction portion of Baker University's final phase of remodeling to the Charlie Richard Sports Complex.
"The weather has been wonderful," Baker Athletic Director Dan Harris said. "It's allowing us to actually be ahead of schedule."
The track surface was removed in December and is now prepared for the new track to be laid down.
"The track has been torn off and laser-graded," Harris said. "It's ready for preparation for the new track."
Harris said the asphalt base will be the same as it was before, but the new surface hasn't been chosen yet.
"The asphalt will stay there, but it will be laser-graded for smoothness," Harris said. "If we go with a full-pore track, it's self-leveling. When you pore it on there, it levels all the way around as your grade it. That's the good part about that kind of track.
"You have to have warm weather for the glue to adhere and to work," Harris said. "Weather is going to determine the timing and style of track we actually put down."
The football field has also been torn apart and some of the dirt has been taken to the practice football field, located south of the playing field, and to the soccer fields at North Park.
"The big thing now is getting the field prepped and taking all of the dirt out of there, so we can start working on the drainage," Harris said. "That's the next big project we will start pretty quick."
Harris said they have removed about seven or eight inches of dirt to have enough space for the drainage rock to fit.
Harris said the scoreboard has been taken down and stored away. The rock wall and the flagpole that were standing at the east end of the stadium are being relocated to the southeast, where the shot put ring used to be.
Harris also said the parking lots on the northeast and southwest corners of Second and Fremont streets are on schedule to be paved this spring, after a few trees were removed.
Before the parking lots can be paved, Baker will have to add a retention pond to stop water from entering the residential areas.
"The biggest thing we are waiting on now is the materials to do a retention pond," Harris said. "We need to do that in the north parking lot to hold water, because the new paved parking lot will cause drainage to go into the housing areas. We are going to put a retention pond to catch the moisture before it causes a problem."
A press box for Sauder Field, where baseball is played, is also being worked on right now, according to Harris. Another addition that will be coming along is new 25-second clocks for football.
Harris also said Baker is negotiating bids for other pieces of equipment, such as soccer goals, football goals, hurdles, mat covers and jump boards.
The Signal will keep updating the construction as new information becomes available.