Joplin, MO (SNS) – Yard by yard, the green field is slowly being stripped back and rolled into neat bales as work continues to remove the turf from the football field at Missouri Southern State University’s Fred G. Hughes Stadium.

A crew from Byrne & Jones Construction of St. Louis began removing the old turf Monday and will install the new field when it’s ready, said Nathan Bramwell, coordinator of athletic facilities. The removal process began Monday; it will be replaced by new, state-of-the-art turf sponsored by Mercy Hospital Joplin.

“The new turf will be down before the start of football training camp at the beginning of August,” Bramwell said.

Video and photos of the turf removal have generated interest from outside of campus, said Jared Bruggeman, Missouri Southern’s director of athletics.

“We’ve already had inquiries about using the old turf for various projects,” he said. “We plan to keep half of it for use on campus, such as a finish line for the cross-country course and to put under the bleachers at the new baseball stadium.”

Bruggeman said that the football field is used to host outside events by organizations such as McAuley High School and the Joplin Crusaders.

“Along with our new fieldhouse, the turf will be a welcome addition for our student-athletes and the community,” he said. “We’re grateful for Mercy’s help in upgrading our stadium and can’t wait for the team to step out onto the new field for the first time.”