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Track and soccer field dedication set for Aug. 27
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This year’s "Meet The Cougars" event for Barton Community College sports fans has been expanded to a full schedule of events, including the dedication of the new track and soccer field at noon Saturday, August. 27. Student athletes from all sports will interact with the public and will join Barton President Dr. Carl Heilman and representatives of the Barton Community College Foundation, the Board of Trustees and the Athletic Department for a ribbon cutting ceremony.

Barb Schwartz will sing the national anthem after colors are presented by Great Bend Boy Scouts.

Athletic events will take place throughout the day, starting with a volleyball game at 10 a.m. at the Kirkman Activity Center.

There will be games for kids, and athletes will sign autographs at the Kirkman Center, the tennis courts, and the track and soccer field, following this schedule:

• 10:30-11 a.m. - Men’s/Women’s Basketball (Kirkman Central); Cheerleading (Kirkman East)

• 11-11:30 a.m. - Baseball/Softball (Kirkman West Court);Tennis/Golf (Tennis courts & grass area around)

• 11:30 a.m. to noon - Volleyball (Kirkman West Court)

The track and soccer field dedication will conclude around 12:15 p.m. After a "celebrity penalty kick," there will be a women’s soccer game.

Members of the track & field, cross county and men’s soccer team will sign autographs and there will be more kids’ games at the track and soccer field form 1-1:30 p.m. The kids’ games will continue from 1:30 -2 p.m. as the public meets the women’s soccer players.

About the track & soccer complex

Planning for a proposed $6 million track and soccer complex, complete with press box, timing building and lighting, got under way in 2006, but the dream of searching for a national sponsor was dashed with the economic meltdown that followed in 2007. A new facility was still needed, however, and it was decided the work would proceed in phases.

Earlier this year, Mark Dean, the college’s dean of administration, said $1.5 million has been spent so far. That includes a state-of-the-art track that surrounds a soccer field on artificial turf, and a building to store equipment for the sports and for maintenance. The track and the soccer turf each have eight-year guarantees, but Dean said the college is expecting the track to last 15-20 years.

"It’s a full-pour track," he said, explaining it was poured as a liquid to form a one-layer surface. Less expensive tracks are installed in layers, but can let in water that freezes and causes cracks. "This is probably the best track that you can buy."