Delayed SM East practice field project nearing completion

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Weather delays and mid-project redesigns have pushed back the delivery date of the new $1 million-plus practice field at SM East — but the field should be ready for use by spring sports teams, say Shawnee Mission School District officials.

The installation of an artificial turf practice field south of the football field at SM East began in July and was initially slated to be completed by Thanksgiving. But after a wet summer and fall, contractors found themselves significantly behind the delivery timeline. District officials also began to consider ways to better utilize the practice field space, and requested a number of design changes after the project had already commenced.

Deputy Superintendent Dr. Kenny Southwick said that the redesign process allowed the district to create softball and baseball practice fields that were the same size and that could be used at the same time. The field now also lays out so that soccer and lacrosse teams could use it.

Construction crews are now working to affix the artificial turf that has been laid down to the ground, and then will begin installing the rubber pellets that will make the field safer for athletic use.

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