JENNIFER FIERRO • PICAYUNE STAFF
BURNET — About $1.8 million of a $26 million bond package being considered by Burnet Consolidated Independent School District includes upgrades to Bulldog Field, Superintendent Keith McBurnett said.
The biggest part of the cost would be from installing artificial field turf. The stadium also would get a new eight-lane track. Currently, it has seven lanes. The last part involves taking down the current fencing and replacing it with the same fencing found at Bulldog Diamonds.
“We’ve been in need of (these improvements) for quite a while,” said BCISD athletic director and head football coach Kurt Jones.
The longstanding drought has taken a toll on the natural grass turf at Bulldog field, he said.
“We put a million gallons (of water) a year on that field alone,” he said. “Kids from the seventh grade on up are on that field. It takes a beating.”
The base of the track that is on the home side has gotten weathered over the years. An eight-lane track is the standard for most high school track-and-field meets, Jones said.
“I’m sure there were financial reasons for (only having seven lanes),” he said. “Having that eighth lane allows you to run more meets more effectively, and you can host area meets. There are reasons to add that eighth lane.”
The current chain-lenght fencing around the stadium bends in some parts because of age.
“It’s been around the stadium since it was built,” Jones said. “It’s weathered and outdated. We’re going to try to improve that.”
BCISD has 500 students who use that field for other purposes besides football. The band marches on the field, and the Highlandettes and cheerleaders perform on it, too, Jones said.
“When you think about every kid, it serves far more than the football team,” he said. “We host other things like high school graduation, Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day (events), Relay for Life. When you look at everything done there, it’s very important and vital for our community.”