• 90°

Work begins on turf field at Catawba College

SALISBURY — Catawba College has begun work on upgrading drainage and replacing turf at Kirkland Field in Shuford Stadium, a major step in converting the football and lacrosse field into a community multi-use field.

The work is part of the college’s current fund-raising efforts, Mind, Body, Soul: Catawba’s Campaign for Growth. The project was funded entirely by private donations, with Greg and Missie Alcorn of Salisbury providing the major gift.

“We are pleased to participate in the conversion of the football and lacrosse field into a multi-use field to be used by the entire community,” Alcorn said.

The project, in the planning stages for more than three years, is expected to be completed this summer and meets the college’s environmental standards. Converting the grass field to artificial turf means that the facility can be used seven days a week, according to Larry Leckonby, Catawba athletic director. The field will be the first artificial turf football and lacrosse field in Rowan County.High school sports programs will have the opportunity to use the field, and it will greatly increase recreational facilities for Catawba, Leckonby said.

In addition, it will be a resource for college intramural and club sports programs and the marching band.

“It will be a full-purpose campus facility and will enhance student life,” he added.

Meg Dees, vice president of development at Catawba, said, “We are so thankful for the generosity of the Alcorns. Over the past two years, we have had 49 donors step up with restricted gifts for this project. These gifts have ranged in sizes, but all have been designated for this project that will be such a positive addition to our school and our community. Gifts have been made by past football players, past members of the marching band, and alums and supporters excited by the field being able to be used for so many activities.”

With the current grass field, “we took great care not to use that field in an effort to keep it in good shape for football and lacrosse,” Leckonby said.

Still, it could become a muddy field during heavy rains. For instance, during heavy rains in February, the Kirkland field could not be used for practice for approximately 10 days. With the artificial turf, the field will be ready for play 20 minutes after a rain storm.

Leckonby also sees the improved field as a recruiting tool. “Most high school athletes, outside of Rowan County, play on artificial turf,” he said.

The project also includes an adjustable set of goal posts, since high school and college programs are required to use different sizes of goal posts.

In keeping with Catawba’s role as a proven environmental leader in the state, the project is using a mixture of sand and BrockFill, an engineered wood particle infill, instead of a less environmentally friendly rubber product, beneath the artificial turf. BrockFill, specifically designed for artificial turf, is a sustainable, renewable, organic infill product. There is zero waste in production and 100 percent of the tree is ultimately used.

The contractor for the project is Astroturf Construction of Lexington. The company is committed to the environment, stating that each AstroTurf field can save up to 20,000,000 gallons of water, without use of pesticides, herbicides, or other chemicals.

The work going on at Shuford Stadium is part of a $1.3 million football project that also includes a new state-of-the-art scoreboard.

Work also has begun on two tennis courts.

The fundraising goal for all the athletic improvements at Catawba is $2,847,000. That project included the installation of the softball field lights, the start-up of outdoor beach volleyball and renovations to basketball locker rooms and coaches offices.

Nearly $1 million has been raised so far, according to the most recent update.

The turf field should solve all weather-related problems and delays. It also eliminates most of the expenses involved with maintenance, mowing, fertilizing and pesticides.



Spin Doctors announced as headlining band for 2021 Cheerwine Festival

Ask Us

Ask Us: Readers ask about Hoffner murder case, ‘Fame’ location


Cornhole tournament at New Sarum Brewery brings out Panthers fans, raises money for charity


Blotter: Salisbury man charged for breaking and entering, burglary tools


Senators race to overcome final snags in infrastructure deal


Child killed in Monroe drive-by shooting; 1 arrested


Rowan County Chamber of Commerce’s Dragon Boat race returns after year hiatus


Marker commemorating Jim Crow-era lynchings in Rowan County, racial injustice required years of work


Identified Marine was a Salisbury native, served in WWII


Rowan County sees COVID-19 cases coming more quickly, remains in middle tier for community spread


Cleveland plans to build walking trail, community barn quilt mural

High School

High school athletics: Male Athlete of the Year Walker in league of once-in-a-generation players


Young entrepreneur learns lesson of responsibility by raising quail, selling eggs


Historic McCanless House sold, buyers plan on converting home into events venue


Library’s Summer Reading Week 10 has virtual storytime, last chance to log hours


Positive COVID test knocks DeChambeau out of Olympics


College football: North grad Delaney ready for next challenges at Johnson C. Smith


Fishing: Carson grad Bauer signs with CVCC


Biz Roundup: City of Salisbury brings back in-person community resource fair


States scale back virus reporting just as cases surge


Wildfires blasting through West draw states to lend support


French protesters reject virus passes, vaccine mandate


State briefs roundup


Salisbury man arrested for robbery in Cleveland