ST. PETERSBURG – Many of our schools hold great significance in our hearts for one reason or another. Perhaps it is our Alma Mater or it’s where our parents taught or where our grandchildren attend. Maybe our interest is piqued for none of these reasons but simply because a school is part of our community and we are curious in knowing what is happening with it.
Permit this article, and perhaps others to follow as the interest or need arises, to share with you some of the updates and information related to our schools. This article’s focus in on that soon to be 90-year-old hallowed institution that evokes strong memories at the mention of the names of principals such as Emanuel Stewart, Cecil Keane, John C. Demps or Barbara Shorter. If you are still guessing at this point, relax. I’m talking about Gibbs High School.
If you have stopped by or driven by the football field of Gibbs High recently you have seen a field that is dry and barren. It may have appeared more like a barren desert than a field of play and athletic competition. But alas, I bid you, do not let the appearance of the field disturb you, for it is indeed still a field of dreams accomplished and many more dreams yet to occur. It is merely a sign of progress.
Gibbs High School field and track are in the process of being upgraded. In fact, by the time summer is over the school will have a new, up-to-date, top-of-the-line track and field.
Drainage issues caused cracks and depressions on the track and several low spots as it settled. As a result, both the track and the field have been demolished. Soil bores and ground penetrating radar were used to determine the subsurface anomalies that were causing the settling issues.
Now, the drainage issues for the field have been addressed, the field has been re-crowned and the sod is going in within the next week or so. The field is expected to be game ready by August 1.
An added enhancement will be a rubber track. The old track has been completely removed, a new base has been put in place and the track has been widened in spots to remedy where the lanes once narrowed.
Though an asphalt track will be installed this summer, it will not be marked because a synthetic rubber track will be installed once football season has ended. The rubber track will be fully lined for competition.
What a great way to begin the 90th school year with facility enhancements that will not only be aesthetically pleasing but will also energize that Gladiator spirit. The Gladiator Nation still reigns and over it waves the blue and gold banner forever! Go Gladiators!