Tough turnaround time for turf job
UH's Trapasso expresses confidence, but has taken steps toward backup plans
The University of Hawaii still plans to have the renovation of Les Murakami Stadium's turf finished by the start of the 2008 baseball season in January, according to a timeline in an overview of the project available yesterday.
Companies hopeful of placing a bid to put in new synthetic turf have until Sept. 20, and a contractor is expected to be selected by Sept. 28. They could be given the go-ahead as soon as Oct. 8, and would have until Jan. 3 -- 87 calendar days -- to complete the project.
The company must tear up the stadium's weathered AstroTurf and install its own synthetic playing surface with a sand and rubber base, similar to the FieldTurf at Aloha Stadium.
The UH baseball team will start up baseball practice Jan. 14, leaving a window of about 11 days.
Coach Mike Trapasso is "working under the assumption that everything's going to be fine."
But he's also making sure his team is ready to practice under any situation in January, whether the new turf is ready to go or not. He has faith the job will be done by the time the season starts, but figures whoever gets the contract may not be ready to start by Oct. 8, and thus, may miss the targeted finish date.
"They may say, 'Well, we're going to have to bring our stuff over, and start in early November.' Or they may start Oct. 8," he said. "Either way, we're planning for every scenario that might arise."
The Rainbows will get a good amount of training in improvisation during fall practice, when the team needs to figure out which venues to play at for as many as 35 sessions starting around Oct. 10.
"It'll be a hassle, but in the end it'll end up being better for our team because we'll just be able to adjust on the fly and not get too comfortable, which is important," Trapasso said.
He's spoken to the City and County of Honolulu and some high schools to secure fields, but when and where depends on when the contractor gets started.
UH is scheduled to host Hawaii-Hilo for a three-game series starting Feb. 15.