With a little more than a month before Truman State University’s first home football game, construction crews in Kirksville move to put the finishing touches on the Stokes Stadium renovation project. While the field’s surface is already in place, the track and press box remain incomplete.
Kevin White, assistant director of athletics for communications and operations, said the stadium’s press box is right on schedule. He said the box’s interior should be finished around Sept. 16, which would leave plenty of time to set up the wiring, phone lines, sound system and other features before the Bulldogs’ first home game.
White said while the press box is on schedule, the construction of the track will take more time. According to White, the track was delayed when the construction crew had an issue filling asphalt.
“The stadium should be finished before the first home game, but it needs to be left alone…” White said. “There are plenty of fences up, so people need to make sure they keep out. It’s a lot like when Baldwin Hall was being renovated — the same still applies to the track … To keep it all intact, the football team will have to move their practice to the south field where they had their spring ball at.”
Football head coach Gregg Nesbitt said his team was able to have their first seven practices on the new field. They then had to move to the rugby field until the renovations are complete.
Track and field head coach Tim Schwegler said the track is on schedule to be ready in time for the team to begin practice. Schwegler said delays in large construction projects are common which is why it’s important to be flexible.
“The track team doesn’t start official practice until the 11th, so that’s going to work out,” Schwegler said. “Now, the kids usually do workouts individually for the first three weeks once classes start — so they’ll have to improvise there — but it should work out for us okay … For the track team, we’ve dealt with stuff like this before.”