TOME – The new synthetic turf installed on the Valencia high school football pitch should be ready for the season opener on August 19.
Tiffany Gutierrez, Los Lunas Schools construction management supervisor, said that barring unforeseen circumstances, the turf will be in place for Game 1 against Alamogordo.
Crews are expected to begin laying the turf on August 1 with completion scheduled for August 18, the day before the first game.
Gutierrez says they anticipate only one junior college football home game on Aug. 27 will have to be postponed as teams install new running track surface around the football field.
The track project will begin shortly after the first football game. Track instillation should be completed in warm weather because surface quality could be negatively affected if the temperature drops too low, Gutierrez said.
The turf and track projects were combined for cost savings and were slowed due to supply chain issues.
Removing natural grass in favor of synthetic turf has several benefits, according to Wilson Holland, director of athletics for Los Lunas Schools.
The new grass will allow the football team to train in the stadium, freeing up its current training ground for other uses.
Additionally, Holland says a well used to water the grill grass collapsed for a time, forcing maintenance personnel to use water from the New Mexico Service system instead, which Holland says , it’s expensive.