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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, October 18, 2007

Company chosen to install new turf

By Stacy Kaneshiro
Advertiser Staff Writer

Sports Turf Hawaii won the bid to have its turf installed at Les Murakami Stadium, the University of Hawai'i announced yesterday.

The turf was described as Domo sports & Leisure grass. Construction was scheduled to start Oct. 8 and be completed by Jan. 3, the school said. Because construction hasn't started, the Rainbows have been holding fall workouts there since Oct. 8.

When state funds were released for the project in May, Hawai'i coach Mike Trapasso showed an interest in FieldTurf, which is used at Aloha Stadium. While it is not that brand, it apparently is similar.

"It is the exact same material that is FieldTurf," Trapasso said. "We're excited we're not going to be playing on the old AstroTurf."

The stadium's present turf was literally coming apart at the seams.

The owner of Sports Turf Hawaii did not immediately return a telephone message.

Although construction hasn't started, Trapasso said he is confident the job will be done in time. He said the first day of spring practice is Jan. 14. The season opens Feb. 15 against UH-Hilo.

The Rainbows can hold fall workouts until Nov. 16. Trapasso said with the new uniform starting date, the NCAA expanded fall practice dates. Trapasso said the team will practice at Murakami until it is told to stop. He said they have made off-campus arrangements to continue workouts.

"I'm really happy that RMY (Construction) is doing the installation," Trapasso said. "We know them and (owner) Russ Yamamoto. We know they'll take a great deal of pride in doing things the right way. That was a relief when I saw they were the contractors."

In May, Gov. Linda Lingle released $2 million to replace the 13-year-old AstroTurf at the stadium, as well as to refurbish the seats at the 23-year-old, 4,312-seat facility.

Meanwhile, workouts have been looking good, Trapasso said. The team will have 12 true freshmen.

"We're young, young, young, but talented, more so than we've been," Trapasso said. "We're young, but that makes fall baseball a lot of fun."

Reach Stacy Kaneshiro at skaneshiro@honoluluadvertiser.com.