They’ve rolled out the green carpet at Newell Stadium.
The Stadium, which is home to several Gloucester High School sports programs and in the process of a complete overhaul, had artificial field turf laid down this week and the project is both on schedule and on budget according to Dick Wilson, fund-raising chief for the Gloucester Fishermen Athletic Association, which has spearheaded all fund-raising efforts for the new stadium.
“Everything is working beautifully,” Wilson said. “We are on budget and on schedule which is a great thing.”
The artificial field turf, fibers that are designed to emulate real grass, will be completed this week ahead of the June 1 deadline. The project received a $500,000 park grant to install turf at Newell Stadium as long it was finished before June 1.
While the project is on schedule and on budget, and may appear to be near completion, that is not the case. The turf is down, the bleachers have been erected, but the track will need the duration of the summer to be completed.
An asphalt surface, which will sit underneath the track’s rubber surface, will need to be put down in two coats. After each coat is laid down it will need three weeks to properly bleed.
After the two coats have bled the rubber surface will be spread on top, which will also take three weeks to dry before it will be available for use. The track surface must but put down in the hot summer months, above 80 degrees, to bleed and dry properly meaning the process can not begin until the temperature is consistently warmer.
The stadium will be available for use at its dedication ceremony on Sept. 6, when the Gloucester Fishermen’s football team opens its season against Lynn Classical.
“It almost looks like we are getting toward the end of the process, but we’re not,” Wilson said. “There’s a lot of work that still needs to be done including some things that you can’t see with the naked eye. We would love to have graduation on the field in June, but the track won’t be ready by then.”