Bryan ISD Moving Forward With Turf Plans at Merrill Green Stadium and Rudder High School

The gridiron in Bryan will be changing soon with Merrill Green Stadium football field and the Rudder High School practice field getting makeovers.

BISD will be rolling out new artificial turf in the coming weeks at a cost of around $1 million.

From soccer, to football and marching bands a lot people use Bryan's Merrill Green Stadium.

A major makeover is coming this summer with artificial turf and a new track approved by the Bryan ISD Board of Trustees.

Bryan ISD Athletic Director Harry Francis tells us the end result will be less maintenance and more time available for sports.

"I think other than that the other revenue you'd be taking in from more sporting events being held here it won't sell the turf but it will definitely make this a hub of more activity," said Francis.

Rudder High School will also get a 50-yard-long turf practice field for sports at their school as part of the project that will cost under $1.5 million from leftover bond funds from 2008.

"With the State of Texas finance and all that you have to be careful how you spend your money and we know that... There's never a good time to do it," said Francis.

The grass at Merrill Green Stadium costs around $25,000 a year to maintain between watering and maintenance while the turf is expected to cost around $3,000 a year in upkeep.

Marcella Macarthur has a daughter in elementary school in Bryan and wishes the money could be used in the classroom.

"Athletics is good but right now I think it'd be better spent on our teachers," she said.

But state law prohibits bond money from being used for anything other than what it was approved for by voters; in this case facility improvements.

"We've had so many cuts in our teachers and having a lot of parent volunteers which is great that we've had those volunteers but we really need those teachers because ultimately that's what it's all about," said Macarthur.

"I know athletics take the rap more or less for spending money but we're also the one that can generate revenue as well," said Francis.

The turf is expected to last eight to ten years. Nearly every other 4A school in the district has already make the switch to turf.

The Bryan ISD School Board is expected to decide on a bid at their April 16th meeting.

The new turf and track should be in place by July.

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