March 2, 2010
TUCSON, Ariz. - Across Enke Drive at the Jimenez Practice Facility, construction is currently under way in updating the practice site for the Arizona football team.
The first order of business is to strip the current sod down four inches and bring in fresh soil to build it back up. Then the field will be divided to accommodate for both a regular natural grass surface and a synthetic turf.
The turf will be added along the east wall of the facility and run roughly 130 yards from north to south. The turf will give the team flexibility when dealing with inclement weather. Along with the added surface, the overall square footage of the practice site has been extended to 6th street.
The crown of the grass surface will be kept virtually the same with the entire facility draining toward the south end. The team will also have the ability to "move the field" and keep the natural grass in good condition.
The current scaffolding film towers will be removed and replaced with lifts to increase the site's versatility. Also included in the remodeling will be better efficient lighting, replacing the current ten 60-foot light towers with six 90-foot lighting banks.
The project, part of phase one of the athletic department's master facilities plan, is funded by private gifts including $10 million from Jeff A. and Sharon Stevens.
The architect for the project is the Breckenridge Group (Tucson, Ariz.) and contractors include Tucson Building and Remodeling.
The expected completion date for the updated site is mid-July.