SOCORRO, N.M. April 19, 2012 – The Athletic Field has been fenced off and is off limits as contractors install a new irrigation system. The field will be re-opened in time for the UTEP football team's annual training camp in early August.

In preparation for construction of a new dorm, the sod will be ripped up and new irrigation lines installed.

Mountain West GolfScapes of Albuquerque is the contractor in charge of the work. The fields must be ready for the 10-day training camp held in early August by the University of Texas-El Paso football team.

The athletic field is about 575 feet north-to-south and 475 feet east-to-west. Construction of the new dormitory will eliminate about 75 feet of the field on the south side; however, the area will still be able to accommodate both a rugby field and a soccer pitch.

The removal of sod will be finished by April 27. The company will spend most of May trenching and installing new irrigation lines. In June, the company will laser-level the field, compact the soil and lay new Bermuda-grass sod. The field will be fertilized and watered through early August – and off-limits to events.

The new irrigation system will include more sprinkler heads, use less water and be more efficient. The decades-old system was last worked on about 25 years ago.

Week of April 23 - Irrigation to the field will be cut off. All the old irrigation will be removed. They will rip the field with a dozer in preparation for leveling the field. While ripping they will work humates/compost into the western 150 feet of the field.

  • Week of April 30 – Ripping will continue and they will start leveling the field.
  • Week of May 7 – Finishing leveling the field and start irrigation work.
  • Month of May – Irrigation installation.
  • Early June – Re-sodding the field.
  • Mid June to early July – start growing the sod.
  • First week of August – Take down the fence for UTEP’s arrival.

Dormitory construction is scheduled to begin June 1, with the new 150 bed residence hall expected to be completed in time for the fall 2013 semester.

– NMT –

By Thomas Guengerich/New Mexico Tech