July 13, 2005
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
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The final phase of Wyoming's War Memorial Stadium playing surface make-over began earlier this week when crews began laying the new synthetic turf that will be known as Jonah Field.
The job is on schedule and on budget and will be completed by August 1, according to UW Athletics Director Gary Barta.
American Civil Constructors of Littleton, Colo., was awarded the contract for the turf installation and has been working on the field since mid-April. The total project will cost just under $1 million, and is being funded by the athletic department's facility campaign and matching funds from the State of Wyoming.
In May, a $5 million gift from Casper entrepreneurs John and Mari Ann Martin and Mick and Susie McMurry and their families, matched by the state of Wyoming for a total of $10 million, named the new playing surface at War Memorial Stadium, "Jonah Field," and provided theUniversity of Wyoming the funds it needs for construction projects outlined in the Strategic Plan for Intercollegiate Athletics.
The turf project began with removal of the old sod and topsoil. Concrete along the endzones and sidelines was replaced, along with installation of new goalposts. After backfilling areas to reach grade, trenches were dug for the drainage system. When that stage was completed, landscaping fabric was laid and an eight-inch base of crushed rock was spread across the entire field for drainage purposes. A layer of sand was rolled over the crushed rock as the final preparation, and finally the turf is now being installed. The turf will include crumb-rubber "in-fill". After the turf is down, cutouts of hash marks, numbers, logo and end zones will finish the project.
According to Barta, the new surface, known as Desso Challenge Pro 60 Monofilament Synthetic Turf, is the first of its kind in Division 1A football.
The surface will sport brown end zones with gold lettering, "Wyoming" at one end, and "Cowboys" at the other. At the center of the field will be a brown bucking horse and rider, outlined in gold.