The Coal City Community Unit School District 1 Board of Education has approved $5 million in improvements to Coal City High School’s outdoor athletic facilities including turf surfaces for the stadium, baseball and softball fields, and resurfacing the six court tennis facility and six lane running track.
Project bids were made available in December 2023 and of the four received, Lite Construction Inc, of Montgomery, was the lowest responsible bidder with a base bid, including contingency, of $5,077,000.
The bid document sought a specific type of infill to be used. Infill is a necessary component to turf fields that serves several purposes from keeping the grass blades upright and protecting the backing of the turf to providing a cushion for players. Crumb rubber is traditionally used as infill, Coal City was looking for an alternative such as an organic material or TPE—thermoplastic elastomer—a synthetic product. Overall, “it’s a much safer product to use,” said Jason Smith, the school district’s chief school business official.
A benefit of TPE is its durability, it also provides a cooler playing surface, has no toxins and is recyclable. The base bid submitted for the turf fields includes the use of TPE.
The improvements are covered under warranty.
The field renovations were included in a 2022 Facility Improvement Plan drafted by the district’s architectural firm. The Board of Education commissioned the plan based on information provided by district personnel and community members engaged in the annual strategic planning process.
Renovations to the stadium will include the installation of customized turf playing surfaces and resurfacing the six lane running track. Along with the turf installation, field drainage will also be updated at all three fields and new lights will be installed at the stadium.
The cost per facility:
Baseball field—$1.33 million