The first completed upgrade as part of Gaithersburg High School's approximately $107 million modernization project will be ready for fall student-athletes to begin practicing as early as Aug. 20.
A new athletic turf was laid and set on the stadium site this week and should be ready for fall sports despite being a little bit behind schedule, Gaithersburg High School Athletic Director Jason Woodward told Patch.
The track and bleachers—which should be ready by Sept. 1—still need to be installed, but football, soccer and field hockey players should be practicing on the new turf a mere nine days after fall practice season opens on Aug. 11, Woodward said.
Noticably absent from the stadium are lights and a scoreboard, which Woodward said would give football home games a unique experience, one without Friday night lights.
"We’ll be playing Saturday afternoon home [football] games because we still don’t have any lights," Woodward said. "We have two light poles up, but there is no real power out there. We’ll have to put in some generators when they reinstall my scoreboard and that kind of stuff. There is still a lot that needs to be done."
Aside from being easier to maintain than a natural grass field, the turf is complete with striping and sidelines for multiple sports, Richard Shuman, director of MCPS' Division of Construction, said Monday at a mayor and council worksession.
The striping for football, soccer, field hockey and lacrosse means Woodward won't have to re-paint the field for each sporting event it hosts.
The stadium upgrade is part of Montgomery County Public Schools' modernization of Gaithersburg High School. The replacement building will feature an increased enrollment capacity of 2,284 students in a new 3-story facility.
The replacement building is slated to open in 2013 with all site work scheduled for completion in 2014.