TUSCUMBIA — Deshler High School's stadium renovations are on track to be finished by the end of the summer.

The $1.7 million stadium project is targeted to be complete in time for Deshler's first home football game Aug. 31.

In addition, the project at Howard Chappell Stadium includes a much-needed fix to the flooding in that low-lying area.

Mark Sheheane, job superintendent for Warner Athletic Construction Company, said the retention pond, which is located where the practice field was, is about 80 percent complete and is already working.

The pond will route water with new piping from Cave Street to Spring Creek.

Sheheane said the project has gone smoothly so far, adding it is a big undertaking.

"We've hauled out 1,200 loads of dirt so far," he said. "I know to the community this project looks like a bomb went off, and it will until the last couple weeks and all of a sudden it's going to look great."

Because summer rains are certain to occur, Sheheane said he can't set a firm completion date just yet.

"Right now, we're just saying we'll have them playing at the start of the (football) season," he said.

He said about half the drainage work in the new concourse area is complete, and resurfacing the track required a 30-day cure time. 

"In the next couple weeks we'll see a big change," he said.

As for the community's patience while the heavily utilized track/stadium is out of commission, Sheheane said cooperation has been great.

"People have been very understanding," he said. "We have some signs in place as reminders to stay clear of the area. We've had some football players coming to get sod and things as mementos."

Chris Hand, the Tuscumbia School System's director of facilities, said officials have been well pleased with Warner's work, especially the company's efforts to keep the project on schedule.

Hand also praised the city's street and utilities departments, as well as fire and police officials for their willingness to "jump in to help resolve unexpected issues that arise."

"There are a lot of moving parts to a project this big, and having help from the city is a huge benefit," he said. "It's a bit disruptive now but, hopefully, this will resolve the age-old flooding issue and we'll have a track and field that everyone can be proud of."

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