SPRINGDALE (KFSM) -- Springdale High School athletics will get a boost with a new track and practice fields for softball, baseball and soccer next year.
A new eight-lane running track will be built on a plot of land just south of the high school. Two tennis courts will be relocated to accommodate the addition.
The track's interior will feature a full-size soccer field that will allow players to practice without leaving school grounds.
Springdale's School Board set aside $3.5 million from the district's building fund to pay for the project, which is expected to be completed by spring 2018.
"It's like a kid on Christmas morning," said Godfrey Siamusiye, the boy's track coach. "We are so excited about it. We have a lot of great plans, we have a lot of hope for the future."
Track athletes currently practice at other schools in the district. When the empty lot is eventually transformed into a track, younger grades will also use the facility to alleviate crowding at area middle and junior high schools.
"We were just way overcrowded on our tracks," said Rick Schaeffer, a district spokesman. "This is going to be fantastic for Springdale High School and also for the junior highs on the east side who will use the track facility."
Practice fields for both softball and baseball teams will be added to the empty lot just northwest of the high school, which will also allow students to stay on school property. Games will still take place at the Randall Tyson Recreation Complex, where practice is also currently held, until the track is done.
Siamusiye said the additions will give all teams a leg up on their competition.
"I'm very thankful for the district for doing this for us. It really means a lot to me as a coach," he said. "It does go to show that they really care about what we are trying to achieve here."