Perham Field: out with the old
By Jason Stuart
Ranger-Review Staff Writer
In case you haven’t noticed it, renovations to Dawson County High School’s Perham Field complex are moving ahead at warp speed.
In the week since, the track has been ripped out, the field dug up and the old scoreboard, goal posts and crow’s nest removed.
“It’s moving,” DCHS Vice Principal Wade Murphy said at Wednesday night’s meeting of the school board’s Facilities and Transportation Committee. “I would say by Friday (May 23), there’s not going to be much down there.”
Construction of the post-tension concrete base for the new track should begin shortly, according to Murphy.
Fisher has said the quality of the track and standards it will be built to are such that it would be suitable for Olympic competition.
The new track will also feature double long jump and triple jump runways and four sand pits, cutting down on the length of track meets.
It will also feature an electronic timing system, providing for instant and accurate timings for track events. The system will be a FinishLynx system, which Fisher has described as “the best you can get.”
That timing system will be linked via a wireless connection to the stadium’s new scoreboard, which according to Superintendent Ross Farber “is going to be something.”
“It’ll tell you not only when you finished in the race, but what kind of gum you were chewing,” Farber quipped.
The new scoreboard has already been ordered. At the base will be a football/track scoreboard. On top of that will be an LED video display with a sound system, which will give DCHS the capability to provide video replays for football games and track meets.
In addition to the track upgrades and new scoreboard, the football field will be resurfaced with artificial turf.
The turf will be ProGrass, which, according to Fisher, is used on football and athletic fields at several NCAA schools around the country.
The track, field and scoreboard renovations are being wholly funded through a donation by Ross and Tara Oakland. Those upgrades are expected to cost in the neighborhood of $1.3 million.
Other upgrades to the complex are in the planning stages.
“We are pursuing the next phase of it,” Murphy said.
Those additional upgrades include renovating or rebuilding the concession stands, bathrooms and press box and building some storage sheds for equipment.
“By next month or so, we should have a little more information on the next part of it,” he said.
When it’s all said and done, school officials expect the Perham Field complex will be the envy of the region.
“I think it will honestly be the premier stadium in Eastern Montana, if not the state,” Murphy said.
Reach Jason Stuart at email@example.com.