Duane Carlson Stadium getting turf installed

Justin Martinez/MDN Renovations continue at Minot High School’s Duane Carlson Stadium on Thursday.

It’s finally here. Well, almost.

As we speak, Duane Carlson Stadium is undergoing a $1.3 million transformation that is years in the making. The long-time home of the Minot High School Magicians football team is having turf installed, setting it up for a plethora of future possibilities.

Soccer games. Nearly-year-round YMCA sporting events. You name it. In just two months, that vision will become a reality for Duane Carlson.

“It’s probably been 10 years that we’ve looked into getting turf,” MHS activities director Mitch Lunde said. “We’ve visited about it before and looked into ways to get it done…We’re just excited that it’s happening now.”

The Minot Public Schools Foundation generated the money through a series of fundraising efforts that involved gathering contributions from MHS alumni. The group is still taking donations for those interested in helping.

Once the proper funds were gathered, Minot hired the services of Mid-American Golf & Landscape, Inc. The construction company is no stranger to these sorts of projects, as one of its previous renovations included that of Watford City’s Rough Rider Center.

Just two days after the conclusion of the Class B regional track & field meet on May 18 at Duane Carlson, Mid-American broke ground to begin its 90-day process of getting the turf installed. That makes August 15 the proverbial finish line should weather permit it — right on time for the start of Magi football at the end of the month.

“Hopefully we can stay on that timeline and be ready to go for the fall season,” Lunde said. “But (Mid-American) is well known all over, so we’re very comfortable with their company.”

As mentioned, perhaps the biggest beneficiaries of the turf will be the boys and girls soccer teams.

For years, both squads have played their home games at the Optimist Soccer Complex. Although the fields are just under a 10-minute drive from Minot High School, soccer athletes will now get to experience the electric atmosphere at Duane Carlson that has treated Magi football so well.

“Obviously (Duane Carlson) is known as the football stadium, but in a couple years I believe it’ll allow us to host state soccer up here,” Lunde said. “Our soccer kids have been playing at the Optimist, which is a great facility that we appreciate, but it’ll definitely be nice for them to be a part of the school setting.”

The turf installation is the first of a series of upgrades for Duane Carlson, at least Lunde and MHS hope.

No further renovations have been set in stone, but the school also has its eyes set on updating the locker rooms and perhaps the press box as well. But, for now, the turf is plenty to get excited about.

“We want to maybe say that this is Phase 1,” Lunde said. “Hopefully we can do some more renovations so that (attending Duane Carlson) is a great experience for everybody.”

Justin Martinez covers Minot High School sports and Class B high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @JTheSportsDude.