GLASGOW — Everyone at Glasgow High School knows that Scottie Field is long overdue for a makeover, but now the ball is officially rolling to help raise money to rejuvenate the athletic facility facility.
One of the few football and track venues in Valley County has a lot of valleys in it — in the form of dips and craters — signaling for a major need for change. The conversation, at least, is happening.
"What we'd like to do is look for a new artificial field — a turf football field and a new all-weather track and new lighting for this facility that's been around for over 40 years," Glasgow athletic director Brenner Flaten said. "It's definitely time for an upgrade. And obviously, there's going to be a lot of questions as well.
"But that's why we're going to have a couple more community sessions and give the community of Glasgow really an opportunity to come and visit and have an opportunity to be heard and ask the important questions."
With the need for upgrades comes the need for funding. Flaten estimates the project could cost up to $3.5-5 million. They are calling the project "Scottie Field Recharged" and are taking public donations as well as looking for sponsors for the renovation, which would include new turf and a new all-weather surface the track which has been used for almost double its expected lifespan of around 20 years.
"We want to have an opportunity for everybody in the community to really have a really good idea of what is wrong with our current facility, what we plan to do to the facility, and why we plan to do that to the facility," Flaten said.
Along with Glasgow wanting to host more events and be a hub for eastern Montana athletics, the upgrades could also help reduce injuries.
"There's a lot more things we can do with a facility like that," Glasgow football coach Patrick Barnett said. "The field itself has got a lot of rolling hills and seems to have an injury or two a year that is a season-ending injury. As a whole, we could do a relay for life like other larger towns do down the track. Just having the facility would just be great for our community."
There is significant damage and noticeable cracks all around the track. First-year track coach Paul Yoakam said it's his No. 1 priority to get the project complete not just for athletes but for Glasgow at large.
"We're going to miss out on a lot of events," Yoakam said, talking about the current facility. "We're looking at losing the Top 10 meet that Glasgow started in the state of Montana. To lose that is part of our identity up here as far as track and field goes.
"We have a couple of good teams coming through, a lot of young kids excited about the sport and they're going to miss out on on those postseason events if this continues the way it's going."
Flaten says if funding can be put in order by this fall, they hope to have the upgrades completely done and ready for the football season in August of 2024.
To learn more about "Scottie Field Recharged," you can visit www.scottiefieldrecharged.com.