UF Roundup: UAA commits $2.5M to resurfacing projects

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A woman flies out of the blocks during her 400 meter dash during the Florida Relays at the soon-to-be resurfaced Percy Beard Track at the University of Florida. [Lauren Bacho/Gainesville Sun]

The University Athletic Association has committed $2.5 million to resurfacing the Alfred A. Ring Tennis Complex courts and Percy Beard Track, as well as the relocation of jumps pits and several electrical and communication upgrades at James G. Pressly Stadium, the UAA announced Monday.

Work on the tennis courts began Monday, while work at Percy Beard Track will begin June 25.

Percy Beard Track, home to the nine-time national champion Gators track and field program, was last resurfaced in 2011, and the combination of the sun, heat, and heavy use by the track and field teams and UF and Gainesville communities created the need for it to be resurfaced once again. In addition, the long jump runways will be moved inside the track on the west side, improving the fan viewing experience, competition and training. The pole vault area will stay in a similar location but will be shifted slightly.

Several long-overdue electrical and communications upgrades will make events much easier to manage. Additional drainage also will make the track and competition areas more manageable during moderate rain.

The total budget of the track and field project is approximately $2 million.

At the Ring Tennis Complex, home of the seven-time national champion women’s tennis team and two-time national semifinalist men’s team, the outdoor practice and competition courts will receive a full resurfacing. The courts were last resurfaced in 2015, thought it did not consist of a full asphalt replacement this resurfacing will consist of.

The project will involve removing the current asphalt surface and replacing it, in order to regain its elasticity and limit the cracking issues experienced over the past few years. During the resurfacing, fencing and gates determined to be past their useful life will be replaced.

The total budget of the tennis project is about $500,000.

SOCCER

Dizney Stadium site for all home games

Florida soccer opens its competitive 2018 campaign with three consecutive home dates at its new permanent venue, the Donald R. Dizney Stadium.

Gators’ home action was held at the James G. Pressly Stadium since 1995 and in 2014, some home matches were held at Dizney Stadium. Beginning in 2014, all NCAA postseason action was held at Dizney Stadium. All 10 of Florida’s 2018 regular-season matches are set for Dizney Stadium. Home action begins Aug. 17 against Washington.

Florida faces 11 teams that advanced to 2017 NCAA Tournament action. A seven-match stretch versus 2017 NCAA Tournament opponents begins Aug. 24 against Ohio State.

“There is no doubt this schedule will test us. We are looking forward to the challenges it presents us,” Florida coach Becky Burleigh said. “Having the Donald R. Dizney Stadium as the permanent site for our home matches is a great benefit for the team and Gator fans. Our fans will be close to the action and with the field dimension similar to other teams in our league, it will help with game preparations.”

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