The cost of changing the grass turf to an artificial turf is estimated to be at $1 million.
“I’ve had verbal commitments to cover the rest of it ... about $80,000.,” Mascorro said. “The school board will make a determination to go forward at its meeting May 20.”
Mascorro said he is technically still fundraising. He credited Refugio Coach Jason Herring for helping to raise the money.
Mascorro, who is Refugio County Judge, said his office or the commissioners court have nothing to do with the fundraising. He said he was acting as a parent and successor to Jack Sportsman, who initially led the improvement efforts. Sportsman died in 2009.
Mascorro said he started in earnest last year in early September to raise the money needed.
From conversations with coaches and Sportsman, Mascorro said they’d been “kicking around the idea of raising money outside the district.”
He said the idea of replacing the field came up five to six years ago.
But the idea “fell by the wayside with Sportsman’s untimely death.”
Mascorro added that “a couple of people had talked about making big donations but that fell through, too. Grants fell through, and all that passed,” he said.
Mascorro said he with the help of Herring started the process again, looking at products that were available and at different sources.
He worked with the company Field Turf that worked on in-kind agreements to lower the cash cost.
Field Turf makes it artificial turf in Georgia, its design in Michigan, does installation out of Dallas, has a regional office in Austin and a CEO office in Montreal, Canada.
Mascorro said Hilcorp Energy Company has made the largest donation to the project and will have its logo on one end of the field.
Mascorro said Hilcorp is part of an organization like BuyBoard.
“Hilcorp is already vetted and is on an approved list by the state,” Mascorro said.
“Our goal is to have the money that’s been pledged by May 20. We would start construction on June 1. The field would be in place by the first of August,” he said.
Mascorro said he has two children, both in the school district. Plus, he said he has two nephews with two children and numerous cousins and family members who have or will have students in the school district.
“Other parents can step forward and do things they are passionate about, too” he urged.
He added that he worked to get the commitments for the project for the kids but also for “the town itself, the pride and economic benefits.”
Mascorro said the school district will benefit from the artificial turf because playoff games can be hosted at the stadium. And that will bring revenue from gate receipts, concessions and other ways.
He described his fundraising as creative.
“When solving problems, we have to ask ‘Can we do this? Can we do that?’ We have to be creative.”
He said he would like to see an endowment fund set up that would attract good teachers and fund academic programs as another project.
But for now, he said he is still fundraising for the artificial turf project.
“I’m not ready for a formal announcement, yet. I’m still working on it, and I need a green light from the school board.”