New turf field among upgrades coming to Helena High School

Published 4:05 pm Tuesday, November 27, 2018

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

HELENA – Helena High School received some big news regarding a couple of athletic facilities the night of Monday, Nov. 26, as the Helena City Council authorized expenditures from the one-cent tax fund to bring needed upgrades to Husky Stadium and Joe Tucker Park.

The final phase of the project from the one-cent tax fund that started six years ago will include the installation of a turf field and rubberized track at Husky Stadium as well as the installation of a new set of tennis courts at Helena’s Joe Tucker Park.

“What we’re looking at is the final phase of the project that we undertook six years ago that we weren’t able to finish because we didn’t have the money built in that one-cent fund,” Helena Mayor Mark Hall said. “The one-cent fund is dedicated to those improvements and that money is allocated for that bond issue and for making those improvements at the school.”

The $700,000 conventional loan was approved in the one-cent fund by the Helena City Council. The city makes up the difference with the funding that is already in place.

Hall added that the improvements will help the give the city an economic boost and also save the school money in the long run.

“We’re going to add a set of tennis court here at Joe Tucker Park so the high school and middle school can have regulation matches there,” Hall said. “We also will improve the track with the rubberized certified track for Alabama Athletic Association track and field events that we have not been able to host. Also, the synthetic playing field addition will provide a variety of uses that includes being used year-round. Soccer matches will not be canceled because of rain and other competitions can be held there that includes youth football and soccer. We’ve estimated that the school itself would save about $30,000 a year in fertilizer and water expenses for that field. Not to mention the ecological effects so that in itself is a win-win for us.”

Hall emphasized that the funding for the improvements does not take away money from paving, highway or any other construction in the city.

“This does not take away funding for our much-needed road projects since this is a separate bond that is earmarked for the school projects,” Hall said.

Construction will begin on the projects as soon as the city accepts a bid for the tennis court construction at Joe Tucker Park and the Shelby County Board of Education accepts bids for the construction of the synthetic field and rubberized track.