SPORTS CAMP INFO
Perry Stadium to receive turf
February 13, 2013By Nick Holland of Southport High School
Perry Stadium will be getting synthetic field turf for the football field, and it will only cost a namesake to get it.
Perry Stadium will keep the name it has, but the field will now be called Ray Skillman Field.
Administrators believe the field turf will benefit the township since Perry Stadium is arguably the most used football stadium in the state. While most stadiums get a break in football games during the season, Perry Stadium doesn’t. Perry Stadium had 23 football games played on it this year, the average stadium throughout the state has far fewer home games.
The Ray Skillman Auto Group donated $900,000 to the Perry Township Education Foundation (PTEF). PTEF will use the money to pay for the work involved with the turf. The bid for this has not yet been put up for public auction, which means that the school district hasn’t told contractors out there that it needs this specific work done. Once they put the bid out there, each company can bid on who will do the work for the lowest price or in the shortest amount of time.
Superintendent Dr. Thomas J. Little hopes that the bid will be finalized before the end of February, and that the turf will be installed by July 1. The most important thing, according to Little, is that the school is thankful for the donation.
“We are very happy that after Skillman donated to other schools (Franklin Central and Center Grove), he decided to spread the wealth over here too,” Little said. “Skillman has realized that the Perry Township community has been instrumental in his success. He knows of the name recognition that comes with Perry Township.”
Mr. Ray Skillman said he thinks that the donation is much deserved by Southport.
“This community is where we do business,” Skillman said. “We love the people here, and with the help and feedback of my employees, we are able to take care of this community.”
The project will use no tax-payer dollars because of the new Capital Campaign Program that Little has established. His and the program’s mission is to finish projects in the athletic and art departments throughout the township without the use of tax-payer dollars.
The new turf will be open for both the Perry Meridian and Southport football programs to practice on this upcoming summer. Little says that the football coaches and respective athletic directors can work on a system in regards to field usage.
“I hope that the ADs and the football coaches can work out a schedule,” Little said. “The field is open to either team.”
It was thought by some athletes that if the school district got field turf, then in the spring time other teams could work out on it as to create space for other teams and not cause the quality of the practice athletic field to reduce as quickly. According to Little, however, some teams, like both the soccer and the lacrosse teams, will still be using their Mary Bryan facilities. But he says each team is still able to use the turf for practices, if they work it out with the football coaches first.
Regardless, Little hopes that the field turf will have a positive outcome for the township. He also says that this is not the only partnership that Perry Township has been working on. He says there are many more in the works.
“This is just the beginning,” Little said.