Rome, NY - Construction is underway and progressing at Rome Free Academy Stadium.
On June 25, the board of education approved about 1.5 million dollars for a new track and turf field for the stadium.
Well the project started just about two weeks ago now so as you can see that done quite a bit of work in two weeks. We’re already starting to prep for the track and field,” said Peter Blake, Superintendent of Rome City School District.
“Essentially the reason why we’re doing the project is our track was falling apart, it's been falling apart for several years. Our turf was past its useful life and we were a few years overdue for getting this done and we are fortunate enough that CSD approved the project and we're off and running.”
In the 2019 season, RFA Stadium track did not host any girls or boys’ varsity meets because of its worn-down state. Upgrades to track and field amenities will be the biggest change.
“As of right now, the big difference that people will see is we've moved all of our track and field jumping activities from inside of the turf line to outside by the buildings so we’ll have a new jumping event location and we are redoing our shotput pit as part of the project. We are considering talking about an upgraded scoreboard but that will be dependent upon whether or not we can find some community support for donations for that and/or if there's some excess funds in the project to do that,” said Blake.
Although the coronavirus pandemic put a pause on sports, construction was able to start early.
“The construction really had nothing to do with the Covid (19) situation and the pause. I did help us in the fact that we were able to start several weeks earlier than we anticipated so if we are able to get athletics going in the fall again we may be a little bit ahead of schedule,” added Blake.
The tentative completion date is scheduled for September 18 dependent upon weather this summer, just 3 days shy of the new start date for the New York High School fall sports season of September 21.
The NYSPHSAA announcement came just hours after this interview.