Green Dragon Track & Field / Fieldhouse Renovation Livestream

In the first major renovation since 1979, the Harlan Independent School District began work on a Phase III construction project at Joe Gilley Athletic Complex.

An investment of more than $6,500,000 to construct a new field house, track, and natural grass turf football field is underway. The project is scheduled to be completed in June of 2024. Architects from Sherman Carter Barnhart are working with general contractor Green Construction to complete the project.

On the heels of completing a two-year journey in Phase I and Phase II renovation projects that totaled more than $10M in improvements on the Central Street campus, attention has quickly shifted to the athletic areas.

Superintendent C.D. Morton says he is excited to finally see this project happen for the students and families at Harlan Independent. “Words cannot express how excited I am for this phase of our project. The impact it will have on our students will be hard to measure, but I think everyone is going to be proud when it is complete. The Board and others have worked really hard to finally get this project across the finish line. A new field house complete with a weight room, lockers, and office space will be a breath of fresh air for our football program. Not to mention, a new eight-lane track complete with space for all the field events and a refurbished natural turf field. This project is long overdue and I expect the impact to be felt by everyone!”

The current football field and track was completed in the Fall of 1979 and the existing field house was erected in 1988. At the time of construction, space constraints limited the track development to six lanes with the inside lane encroaching onto the football field area making for less-than-ideal endzone corners for student-athletes.

Morton noted that some of those design shortcomings from the past would be corrected in the new project. “We have had some very clear goals from the onset of the design phase. We have a growing group of talented runners and wanted to give them a full eight-lane track to compete on in the future. Additionally, providing all of our field athletes the full complement of events and spaces to compete remained a high priority. The new design will require a slight adjustment to the field so we can incorporate all the field events and get the inside lane of the track off the field. This will make the football playing area much safer. The construction of a dedicated field house will give our football program the space and equipment for our students to excel. The coaches and kids from both programs deserve the very best. Our participation numbers are up, and enrollment continues to climb at a fast pace, so the timing of Phase III is perfect.”