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Joe Quintal Field project slightly behind schedule

Rolls of artificial turf are expected to arrive at Joe Quintal Field as soon as this week, as the $1.2 million renovation of the historic stadium's playing surface continues.

Mitchell High School Activities Director Cory Aadland said the project is a little behind due to rainy weather Mitchell got in June. Dakotaland Sod and Stockwell Engineers, both of Sioux Falls, are conducting the work.

"That two- or three-week stretch of rain has set them back. But they're going to be throwing labor at the project on the days they can to get it done," he said.

The project also includes a new track surface and some altering of the field-event areas for track and field. Aadland noted that the crews have been working primarily on the base of the field and installing drainage equipment.

"It's not really flashy but it's important to the project," he said. "We're trying to balance the timeline we have to get things done with the project itself and so far, we've hit the proper checkpoints to get this done."

The project was scheduled to be substantially completed by Aug. 3 and handed over to the school on Aug. 17.

Aadland said the Mitchell High School boys and girls soccer teams intend to play their home matches at Joe Quintal Field this season. The teams have played at the Pepsi-Cola Soccer Complex in previous years and would continue playing at the complex if there was any conflicts with the construction of the field or other events.

The Kernels' first match is scheduled for Aug. 11 against Douglas, but Aadland said the field may not be ready for that contest, likely moving it to the Pepsi-Cola complex. He said it's more likely that the playing surface will be finished for the next home match date on Aug. 18 against Brandon Valley.

The Mitchell High School football team is scheduled to debut on the field on Aug. 25 for the annual Kernel Bowl game with Watertown. Dakota Wesleyan University will open its home football season Aug. 23 against Dakota State in a 7 p.m. Thursday contest.

The project is being funded in three parts of $400,000 each, with the district's capital outlay funds, fundraising by the school district and a new lease with Dakota Wesleyan University combining for the project's payment.

The field will include black end zones with "MITCHELL" written in one end zone and "KERNELS" in the other end zone, with a large gold "M" logo at midfield.

"It should look sharp," Aadland said.