The latest decision by the Washburn Board of Regents has the athletics department seeing green.
Regents approved phase two of the renovations of Moore Bowl, which will see the replacement of the natural grass turf with a state of the art artificial field turf.
“This will give Washburn the same type of turf that Missouri and K-State have,” said Jerry B. Farley, president of Washburn.
In addition to the turf renovations, the track surrounding the field will also be improved.
Approving phase two of the project allows the Moore Bowl Renovation Committee to seek bids from companies for the job. In a presentation at the meeting, Farley said that only a handful of companies across the nation were capable of installing the turf in the manner required. Farley said three companies would be requisitioned for proposals and estimates.
Farley said it is important to recognize the key to the renovations is not necessarily the turf or the track, but the subterranean structure of the field.
“The secret to the success of this project will be the drainage under the field,” said Farley.
Another significant factor in the renovation project was the timing of the two construction efforts. Farley said that replacing the football turf and the track simultaneously would avoid having to damage a newly laid track to install the turf at a later time.
Additionally, the paring of the two projects creates a crunch to finish construction efforts before the beginning of the next football season.
Replacement of the worn grass turf and cinder track was recommended when the MBRC originally proposed the construction of the Bianchino Pavilion. However, the lack of funding at the time constricted the project.
Farley said that the success of this year’s football season has sparked new interest in improving the appearance of Moore Bowl. Several donors stepped forward to fund the phase two renovations.
Adding artificial field turf to Moore Bowl has a distinct advantage over its current form. The turf will be strong enough to withstand daily practices according to Tom Ellis, special assistant to the president.
While replacing the field turf will aid the football program at Washburn, the renovation of the surrounding track is aesthetic in nature.
According to Ellis, the track at Moore Bowl will not meet NCAA specifications; thus, it will not be used in an official capacity for track and field. Rather, the track will serve as an outdoor practice surface for use by the athletics department.
Farley said that the MBRC would likely have an award contract for Regents to review at their December meeting.
Regents approved the continuation of phase two unanimously. The Board of Regents will meet again at 4:30 p.m. Dec. 16 in the Memorial Union.