When the Greenville Yellow Jackets meet the Belding Redskins in football — just 63 days away — they will do so on the high school campus in the newly constructed Legacy Field.
As construction continues, the field takes shape daily. On Friday, the stadium lights were raised while the safety padding was layer on what will be below the artificial playing surface.
“We had a little lull there for a few weeks with some permits and an issue with the soil underneath the turf as far as getting the right draining consistency,” Greenville athletic director Brian Zdanowski said. “That is straightened out and the guys laying the turf padding told us that is one of the best surfaces they have ever worked on.
“The time we spent getting it right was time well spent,” he added.
Once the padding is complete the turf will be applied. Zdanowski said it would take from two to four weeks to complete the turf application.
In addition to the lights and padding work, concrete was being laid, painting was taking place in the locker rooms, bathrooms were being finished and landscaping was in progress.
“A lot of it now is finishing work. They are finishing the sidewalks, fencing and landscaping,” Zdanowski said. “They still have to finish the pressbox. It’s roughed in, but they still have to drywall, add doors and finish with the windows.”
As for being ready for football in August, that shouldn’t be a problem.
“Everything is still on schedule. Nothing seems to be setting us back,” Zdanowski said.
A nice historical feature of Legacy Field will be the addition to the clock for the Flat River Historical Museum. The clock — more than 100 years old — was originally used in the tower at the old high school located on Judd Street. The clock will be located on the main concourse of the fieldhouse.
According to Zdanowski, many community members have taken tours of the new facility and are impressed with what they see.
“They are in awe, especially if you walk them through the tunnel,” he said.
Other construction is going on, as well. As part the school bond, the tennis courts were moved and completed this spring. They were used for the recently completed girls season. The new junior varsity field is nearly complete and will be ready for use next spring.
“The baseball field is done except for a few small pieces of fencing that need to go up,” Zdanowski said. “We are now letting the grass mature.”
The bathroom facility near Frank Stankey Field — the varsity field — is nearly complete. Water is not running to the restroom as irrigation is tied together with all the projects. A pavilion is still set to be built near the tennis courts.
“One of our tech classes will be building that,” Zdanowski said. “The money has been put aside for that and is ready to go. There may be some additional lighting added along the walkways.”
Legacy Field will host an intrasquad scrimmage from 9 a.m. to noon on Aug. 11. An open house will follow, which will be from 1 to 4 p.m.
The first football game will be held on Aug. 22, when the freshman team hosts Cadillac. Greenville is playing Cadillac because Belding — their traditional opener – does not have a freshman program.
The Yellow Jackets will play the first varsity game at Legacy Field on Aug. 24 against the Redskins.