Renovations begin on Yakima's Zaepfel Stadium

Renovations begin on Yakima's Zaepfel Stadium »Play Video
YAKIMA, Wash. -- Yakima's Zaepfel Stadium is finally getting a makeover. Construction crews started demolition on the track and football field this week. The project will cost the Yakima School District millions of dollars. KIMA learned how the long the work could take.

School's out for the summer and Eisenhower High School's a ghost town.

Next door, it's a different story.

Construction workers, bulldozers and piles of debris. Where the track and football field used to be.

"I never thought I'd be so happy to see the track that I spent the best part of my life working on ripped out," said Ike track coach, Phil English. "But, it's a good beginning. And, two days into it, they're making some good progress."

The start of a months-long renovation to Zaepfel Stadium. That will see the installation of a brand new track. A synthetic-turf football-soccer field. New goalposts and sports lighting. And, more.

The price tag? Almost $4 million. To be paid for with school district reserves.

But, the work won't end there.

"There's probably going to be at last two phases beyond this one," said English. "So, that'll require more money. And, more than likely community input and community fundraising."

The school district expects work on this phase to be done in November, well into the school year. I asked the superintendent what that could mean for athletes.

"Our first football games will need to be played at alternate sites," said Elaine Beraza. "We would always hope that we might get a completion sooner than that."

A hope shared by English.

"I've cancelled an overseas trip this summer so that we can keep an eye on it here."

Making sure the work is done on time. And, goes according to plan.

The school district has hired FieldTurf USA to do the work. The $4 million price tag does not include initial design costs.