Practice field taking shape

Published 11:07 pm Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The scenery at Brewton Municipal Stadium on the T.R. Miller campus is beginning to change as of late as construction on a new practice football field and track site along with new restrooms and a concession stand are beginning to take shape.

Thirteen years after the first talks of a practice field and improvements to the football stadium and restrooms at Brewton Municipal Stadium began, T.R. Miller Tiger athletic director and head football coach Jamie Riggs said progress is starting to be made.

“Our whole goal was build new restrooms and a concession stand because we needed that pretty badly at the stadium,” Riggs said. “In addition, it would just help the look of the stadium down here in the south end zone.”

The nearly $2 million project is being funded by a $1 million donation and funds left over from a bond issue taken out to build the new middle school, whose cost came in under budget.

Riggs said plans first included redoing the home side bleachers and just put the practice field in the adjacent lot behind the stadium and across from the YMCA.

“We needed to figure out what we were going to do and finally decided to separate it a little bit,” Riggs said. “We will now have men’s and women’s restrooms and a big concession area and there is also a small equipment room in the corner that we will use for storage. There will also be a plaza area out there in the middle of it and we will cement that. That part will really be nice. Hopefully we will have all that done by football season because we will play our first game at home this season. Hopefully the people in the community will really enjoy that.”

Riggs said the other part of the addition of the new construction is the football practice field.

“Our track needed to be redone, so we had to decide if we wanted to resurface the current track or build another one,” Riggs said. “So since we were building a new practice field, we just decided to put the track around that at the same time. I think that was a good decision. They have been moving dirt now for about four or five months now, but I think we are just about ready to get it going. In the next two or three weeks, they will put the sprinkler system in on the field and then sod the field. We will put drainage in the field and in the same time, the people with the track company will come in and start working on that and getting that ready. The track will have all the jumping pits. The lights just went up in the past few days and are needed incase the track meets and football practice runs until dark.”

A shelter along side of the track has been built for athletes to drink Gatorade under and get out of the heat.

“There is no shade out there,” Riggs said. “Before, we would just get under the stadium or under the concession canopy to cool off, but that will be our shelter area now. We will also have enough space to eat and have all the team out there.”

Riggs said the new restrooms at the stadium will have more than 20 women’s stalls, but fewer than that for the men.

“The women’s restroom is really big,” Riggs said. “It is a nice size and the concession area is really nice and big and has a covered area on the end of it. I think people will enjoy it and I know the people who will work in it will be pleased as there will be a lot of space to work inside.”

Riggs said the practice field should be ready by the start of fall practice in August. “If we can do that, that will be great,” Riggs said. “We have had great weather this spring to get a lot of things done.”

A new ticket booth will be built along with dressing up that area of the stadium.

“We have some iron gates in the plans to be put up out there to dress up the entrance on this end of the stadium,” Riggs said. “One of the positives from all of this is that this gets the football team off the baseball field. We have one other phase after this to redo the home bleachers, press box and the baseball field area with the dugouts and all that. That is a little ways down the road and we will do that when the funds become available in hopes of just redoing the whole baseball field. It needs a lot of work. We want to put a sprinkler system out there and Bermuda sod and make that all look good, but it does not make sense to do that until you get the football team off the field and hopefully here in the next three months, we can do that.”

Riggs said the new practice field will be a full length, 100-yard field.

“We have never had that,” Riggs said. “It will also take the heat off our playing football field as we will get to protect that and not have to practice on that and keep it ready for games. Having 100 yards will really help us. There will also be seating out there for 500 or more I think. Not only for track meets, but incase we want to have a football scrimmage, fans can sit in the bleachers. The jumping pits will be on the side near the road with the seating on the opposite side. If we had the seating near the road, we will be on the sidewalk over there.”

Riggs said he appreciates all the people that have been involved with the new additions, including Superintendent Lynn Smith and school board member Terrill Neal.

“When I got here 22 years ago, we talked about a practice field and now we have finally got it,” Riggs said. “It has been something we have wanted to do for many years. We finally secured the property and we got the funds. I think it is something the whole community will be proud of, plus the restrooms and the concession stand area will help make the stadium look better. We know we have had an issue with the restrooms for a long time, so hopefully all this will be first class.”

About Adam Robinson

My name is Adam Robinson and I have been the Sports Editor of the Brewton Standard since September 2007. I cover all the local sports in the Brewton area. I am a 2007 graduate of Troy University with a degree in Print Journalism with a contract in Sports Information. I married Shari Lynn in June of 2007 and we welcomed our first child, Hatlee, in April of 2010.

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