Officials aiming for summer renovation of Stankowski Field

Tuesday, February 3, 2009 | 9:05 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA - A newly renovated Stankowski Field could be a reality for the 2009 fall semester, MU recreation officials said.

Larry Bennett, MU recreation senior associate director, said plans to put new turf on Stankowski have been discussed since he came to Missouri in July 2007 and could now finally be completed this summer.

The project has been moving steadily forward and is in the middle of the bidding process, Bennett said.  He hopes the bids will be resolved in the next few weeks and the renovation plans will move forward from there.

Diane Dahlmann, director of MU recreation services and facilities, said $1.5 million has been budgeted for the project, which includes everything from tearing up the old surface to purchasing and installing the new surface.

Bennett said the overhaul of Stankowski Field is necessary because of its deteriorating condition.

“It’s getting close to the end of its life,” Bennett said.

The MU rugby and lacrosse club teams couldn’t agree more.

“This is an injury prone surface,” said Patrick Sammons, president of the lacrosse club.

The lacrosse club team practices and plays games at Stankowski, but for the rugby team, light practices are the only option. Playing games on Stankowski is unrealistic.

“We might have death if we played on Stankowski,” joked Eric Wright, president of the rugby club.

While the lacrosse and rugby players are eager for the renovations on Stankowski to take place, they are also surprised it has taken as long as it has.

Both Sammons and Wright said they were never promised that putting a new surface on Stankowski would be completed last year, but they were told it was expected to be renovated and ready for play by October 2008.

Dahlmann said recreational sports was hopeful the project would be completed by fall 2008, but it was pushed back becuase of a tight construction schedule and the fall intramural flag football schedule.

“We were always working with a flexible schedule,” Dahlmann said.

Dahlmann said the recreational sports staff knows what type of turf it likes and is still looking at different variations to determine what will work best.

Bennett said that whatever turf is used will be similar to that used on Faurot Field.

The proposition of playing on that kind of surface has the lacrosse club excited.

“Injuries would definitely go down with new turf,” Sammons said.

New turf is even bigger news for the rugby club.

The rugby team plays its games at Epple Field, behind the Green Tennis Center.  Playing games off campus hurts the publicity the club receives, Wright said.

Wright said he thinks playing games on Stankowski in the middle of campus would greatly increase publicity for the club, bringing more fans to games and more recruits to play.

Dahlmann said no promises can be made, but it’s possible renovation will begin in May.

“We’d like to get going right after graduation,” Dahlmann said.

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Pam Schiffman February 4, 2009 | 7:33 a.m.

I hope the renovations come quickly, especially if they will cut down on injuries. Good story.

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