Turf problems at Collins High will put home games on the road

Duanne Puckett
Duanne Puckett

SHELBYVILLE, KY (WAVE) - At this time next week, high school football players around Kentuckiana will be suiting up and fans packing stadiums getting ready for their first game. But the stands will remain empty at Martha Layne Collins High School in Shelby County.

For the Titans and their fans, essentially no game will be a home game for the kids who play fall sports. They will be borrowing time on other schools fields because theirs is still unusable.

"We know that the students are going to be disappointed that they're not playing at their home field," said Duanne Puckett, public relations specialist with Shelby County Schools.

During practice last spring, the athletic staff noticed the turf wasn't as stable as it should be. Thursday night, Shelby School Superintendent James Neihof told the board the investigative report into what went wrong is finished.

"They unrolled the field and went down through those various layers," Puckett said of the investigators, which included an independent engineer.

Investigators found soil in places it shouldn't be leading to the conclusion that there were leaks in what's called the impervious liner.

"That would be like it's the roof over your house, protects leaks," Puckett explains. "The impervious liner is to protect the upper levels from the soil."

Bottom line: they know what's wrong and now they can move forward and fix it but not in time for the Titans to take the field. So this season, the Titans football home will be rival Shelby County High's field.

"When Shelby County Rockets are going to be on the road, the Collins Titans will be using their stadium," said Puckett, who added there will be Saturday games as well.

The football team is not the only program affected. The soccer team will move their games to Clear Creek Park. All the kids will all have to wait another year for gridiron glory on their own field.

"They've still got a beautiful school which they can study and learn," Puckett said.

Puckett said the school system is working with legal counsel and the original engineer and contractors at the athletic complex to get it fixed. In a letter on the school system's web site, the superintendent says it hopes the cost to repair the field will be covered by warranty, insurance or the contractor.

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