Major upgrades are underway at the athletic stadiums in the county as the artificial turf first installed at both Pisgah and Tuscola high schools is being replaced.
Both schools went from grass stadium fields to artificial turf 2008, something with a life expectancy of about a decade.
This summer, the Haywood County Board of Commissioners OK’ed spending $1.3 million on the projects there were first announced in March 2019, with an original allocation of $1.1 million in state lottery funds, but the project was delayed.
The project included installing lights at the Pisgah softball field.
The school system has been saving a portion of its annual allocation of state lottery funds (around $450,000 to $500,000) for 12 years in anticipation of replacing the turf.
While the turf is still safe for teams to play on, repairs over the years have led to hard spots on the field, and there are worn patches where teams perform drills.
Artificial turf does not offer any cost advantages over grass, though it is easier to maintain (no mowing or reseeding). The main advantages come in the form of not requiring lengthy delays to play on after bad weather and a lack of wear and tear with heavy use. It’s also safer for players to play on.
The lights will impact time and daylight constraints while allowing the Pisgah Bears softball team more flexibility in scheduling.
Also under construction is Pisgah Memorial Stadium‘s is a new cheer stand, fencing and wider home team area.
The field is used for football of all ages and for Pisgah and Canton Middle soccer teams. Pisgah Athletic Director Heidi Morgan said she has a lot of plans in the works for improvements that will be unveiled in the future.