PALMYRA, Mo. -- If the fall sports season continues as planned, Palmyra football will have new digs to break in.
The Palmyra School District will have new and improved athletic facilities when the 2020-21 school year begins.
Among the improvements include a new turf football field, new lighting, an all-weather track and a new digital scoreboard at the high school.
"We needed a new track and we looked at putting the track where our existing football field at the middle school is, but it was not going to fit," said Palmyra athletic director Brian Wosman. "Plus we were going to have to make some major upgrades to our football field, so we decided to build a new track and football field at the high school."
The football field at the high school was built last summer, but now it will also include new bleachers, concession stands and bathrooms. The new facility will be more accessible to people with disabilities than the current middle school field.
The improvements were made possible when a $3.5 million bond was approved by voters last year. Palmyra School District officials expect to have everything done by the end of August, as the Panthers football home opener is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 11.
Wosman feels that having the new facilities at the high school will be better for Palmyra's student-athletes and will help draw more kids out for both football and track and field.
"Our track team will have a place they can work out on a nice surface instead of a lime surface," Wosman said. "Which will help them on getting better times and preparing kids for meets. Our football practice field was pretty rough, so now having this new surface it will be better for our kids for practices and games."
The new track is an all-weather, eight-lane track that will not have the problem of retaining water as the old limestone track did.
Besides enhancing the organized sports experience, the new facilities will also help improve physical education classes at Palmyra High School.
"I consider it our outdoor gymnasium," Wosman said. "They will be able to go out and do a lot of different things between the field and the track that will benefit our P.E. classes during the school year."
The upgrade of Palmyra's facilities will also help improve the experience for spectators of the school's games and events.
"We have done a lot of upgrades to our new facility," Wosman said. "With the upgrades that we have made, our fans will have a great experience watching football and track meets."