HILLSBORO, MO. - In a race against the clock, a Jefferson County school refurbished its athletic fields in time for two state-wide track meets. In March, an EF Zero tornado swept through Hillsboro, leaving behind hundreds of thousands dollars worth of damage at the high school.
It's been a long time coming since Hillsboro High School has been able to enjoy a home court advantage.
"There were lots of puncture wounds, bleachers were flung everywhere," said Luke Skaggs, a junior at Hillsboro High School.
For the last few months, student athletes have been displaced. On March 7th, powerful winds pushed over bleachers, ripped through the track, and in one spot, sent a metal pole through the turf.
"They've had to practice elsewhere, they've been bussed to different events," Athletic and Activities Director, Edward Moreno, said.
But, as of this week, the high school is ushering in a new era of athletics.
"We have brand new artificial turf surface, we got our track resurfaced, we installed a javelin area," he explained. Moreno says the school is now hosting its largest track meet ever, welcoming 40 schools and 1,000 student athletes.
"It puts Hillsboro in the spotlight for once and they deserve it, they worked hard to get here and to get this done in time," Randy Skaggs, a Hillsboro High School parent, said.
His son, Luke said, "it's really motivating to have a few track, it gives you something to look forward to at practice, 'oh we get to go run on the new track and field.'"
An estimated $460,000 was reinvested in to the brand new fields. The district paid about $34,000 out of pocket for premium grade turf.
"Being able to do things that give our kids the best opportunity to compete here at our own school," Moreno said.
© 2017 KSDK-TV