A construction crew works to remove the old grass field at La Salle-Peru's Howard Fellows Stadium. FieldTurf is being installed and is expected to be finished in 12-13 weeks.
A construction crew works to remove the old grass field at La Salle-Peru's Howard Fellows Stadium. FieldTurf is being installed and is expected to be finished in 12-13 weeks. — Scott Anderson

Howard Fellows Stadium will look significantly different in a couple months.

On Monday, John Pohar and Sons began excavation work to remove the grass field at the stadium in preparation for installation of Greenfield Turf, an artificial playing surface..

“We have a substantial completion date set for early August before the actual football and marching band season,” L-P superintendent Steve Wrobleski said. “Hopefully, we’ll have good weather. We’re looking at 12-13 weeks.”

The artificial turf is the first significant upgrade at Howard Fellows Stadium since 1994 when the stadium was stripped down, new bleachers were installed, the walls were repaired and new sod was put in.

“It means we’re going to have a significant increase in the amount of access to the stadium unlike we’ve ever had before,” Wrobleski said. “Our P.E. classes are going to be able to use it on a regular basis, the marching band will be in there regularly, the football team will be able to actually practice on the field. I think from that standpoint, it’s going to give our programs a true home field advantage.”

L-P athletic director Dan Le said the turf will improve an already fantastic high school football stadium.

“I think it’s exciting. For me as someone who has been to Howard Fellows before having this position, I always thought the stadium having turf would only had to it,” Le said. “It’s a great venue for football. Having all weather turf to be able to use it for multiple events is great for the high school and the community as well.”

The turf project, which will be completed by Byrne and Jones Construction, will cost $900,450.

The school district had raised $528,000 toward the project before it was approved by the board March 18.

“I’m excited,” Wrobleski said. “I’m very grateful from the support we’ve had from the City of Peru as well as so many local banks and individuals who have made commitments to help support the funding of it.”