|Excavation work began Wednesday morning on AllCare Field at Badger Stadium. The project is expected to be completed in time for the beginning of the 2014-15 school year.|
The Arkadelphia Public School District Board of Education approved a contract for construction of a synthetic grass field at Badger Stadium, and also approved the naming of the field as “AllCare Field at Badger Stadium” at its Tuesday night meeting.
The board approved the contract for Geo-Surfaces, a subsidiary of Global Synthetics Environmental, LLC, of Baton Rouge, La., to begin construction on the project immediately. GeoSurfaces has constructed synthetic grass surfaces at area schools such as Henderson State University, the University of Central Arkansas, Arkansas State University and Hope High School.
“Installing a turf surface in our stadium is a major improvement which creates many more opportunities for our students to utilize this facility,” Dr. Donnie Whitten, APS Superintendent, said. “Our athletics department has shown excellent vision and dedication to this project, and once it is completed, the new field will be enjoyed by not only our sports teams, but band, Junior ROTC, and many others. We are very appreciative of AllCare Pharmacy and Senator Malone for his support of this project.”
The approval of the project came after local businesses and individuals committed support to the project, with the naming rights level sponsor being secured by AllCare Pharmacy of Arkadelphia. The field will now be referred to as “AllCare Field at Badger Stadium” as a part of the agreement between the two parties.
Former Arkansas Senator, and long-time Arkadelphia resident, Percy Malone echoed his support of the project, which will benefit many programs in the district, as well as across the community.
“AllCare Pharmacy, our home owned pharmacy, is blessed to contribute to this worthwhile project, to support our school, and our children so we can have state of the art facilities,” Malone said. “I ask for your support of AllCare Pharmacy so we can continue to support our community, and we can continue to say, Arkadelphia – A great place to call home. I want to thank all of the dedicated AllCare employees for their efforts to help make this possible.”
Construction, which began Wednesday morning, is expected to be completed in time for the beginning of the 2014-15 school year. The first school event at AllCare Field at Badger Stadium will be the annual “Meet the Badgers” event set for Friday, Aug. 22.
The fundraising campaign is still underway, with numerous local businesses having committed their support including: Arkadelphia Health Club; Taylor, Rodgers, Turner and Manning; Hardman Lumber Company; Mary and Martha’s; Taylor King and Associates; and Southwest Sporting Goods. A comprehensive list of sponsors will be published once fundraising for the project is complete. The deadline for sponsors seeking on-field advertising is June 11.
“We are extremely thankful for the generosity and support shown by the local businesses who have partnered with the district to make this project possible, and we look forward to the opportunities that this will present to many groups across our district and community,” APS Athletic Director Chris Babb said. “When pitching this idea to prospective sponsors, we became more and more convinced that this project will be beneficial to so many groups that will be able to utilize AllCare Field.”
Arkadelphia head football coach J.R. Eldridge is excited about the scope of the project, but also sees the benefits to the Badger football program as well.
“I’m thrilled that this project is happening, and I can’t thank the local community enough for stepping up to make this a reality,” Eldridge said. “Not only our football program will benefit, but many other sports and activities will benefit because our facility will be better than ever.”