Batavia High ready to play on new field

"Own the Road - 1-0," reads the foam-cup sign on the north fence outside Bulldog Stadium in Batavia.

The play on "on the road" whips up spirit for a football team that is playing the first three games of its season away from home.

But that ends Sept. 16 when the Bulldogs will play a homecoming game on the stadium's new, artificial-turf field.

Students started using the field for physical education classes, marching band rehearsal and sports teams practices. Soccer teams start playing games on it Tuesday.

Besides a new field, the stadium is also getting a new track. Asphalt has been laid for that, and the running surface will be installed and striped in a few weeks.

The school board approved a $1.41 million contract for the work in January and construction started in mid-May.

The Batavia Bulldog Booster Club has paid for $200,000 of the field, and has pledged to donate another $300,000 over the next five years for it. The district also used $200,000 in inactive student activity-fund money to pay for part of it.

The field will ultimately feature a Cool Play infill made with natural cork, which the district says provides a playing surface that is 30 to 35 degrees cooler than artificial-turf fields that use a sand-and-crumb-rubber infill. Delivery of the infill has been delayed by the manufacturer, however, until October. The field's maker has assured the district it is safe to play on the turf without the infill.

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  The Batavia High School football team is playing its first three games on the road. It will make its debut on a new artificial-turf field Sept. 16. Susan Sarkauskas/
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