NM Tech Athletic field renovations on schedule

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Renovation of the New Mexico Tech athletic field is on schedule, and it will be open to the public once more in early August.

The renovation process had included a total overhaul of the irrigation and watering system, leveling and compacting the soil, and time and fertilization to help the new sod take root.

This project has been in the works for about a year, but it has been a long time coming.

“It’s been 25 years since the irrigation was automated, but when that was done, it was not set in correctly, so although it’s been renovated, it was still very inefficient . . . This is the first time we’ve gone in and re-irrigated it,” said James McLain, who is supervising the project for NMT’s Facilities Management Department.

Currently, the plan is to open the field again just before the University of Texas at El Paso’s annual 10-day football camp takes place in early August. Over the next six weeks, the field will be watered and fertilized so the grass can grow in strong.

The renovation comes as part of a year-and-a-half long project for a new residence hall, which will house 150 students and is scheduled to be completed before mid-August 2013 — in time for the fall semester.

About 75 yards of the field will be converted to parking space for the dorm. Construction was scheduled to begin June 1, but as of Wednesday, June 20, fencing has not gone up.

Still, according to McLain, fencing should be up before the week is out, and groundwork will begin sometime in the two weeks following.

However, the athletic field is right on schedule — perhaps even a little bit ahead.

“(We were) originally hoping to have all the sod in place by July 1, and they finished the other day,” McLain said.

Despite this, the fence will not come down until the beginning of August. Once it does, though, the Socorro community will enjoy a better-quality field.