Next fall, when Neosho High School's football Wildcats take the field, there's going to be a major change on the field.

The Neosho Board of Education approved the change from natural grass to artificial turf at the high school football field during their March meeting. Construction, which will also include track repair, is scheduled to begin this spring and be completed in time for the football season next fall.

The cost is estimated to fall between $850,000 to 900,000 and will be paid through donations. Documents presented at the meeting indicate that to date $598,000 has been raised with $408,000 during the current fiscal year. The fund raising efforts will continue.

The artificial turf is not part of the upcoming school levy that asks voters to approve a performing arts center, new fieldhouse and tornado shelters for the schools that currently don't have one.

The district noted that the artificial turf will not only benefit the football team but also the band and the community. It also meets one of the district goals, to provide and maintain first-class facilities.

A number of other area high schools currently play on artificial turf.