Olympia has hired a contractor to install synthetic turf this winter on a baseball diamond at Stevens Field.
Located at 300 24th Ave. SE, south of Lincoln Elementary School, the new infield will become the city’s first public sports field with synthetic turf when the project is completed in March.
KBH Construction submitted the winning bid of $307,066 for the work that the Olympia City Council approved Tuesday. Installation will begin in October.
The project will replace the westernmost dirt infield with a type of “encapsulated sand” that uses a virgin polymer rubber material. Parks director Paul Simmons said the turf material will not include the more common crumb rubber, which is made from scrap tires.
Concerns have been raised about potential health risks from crumb rubber particles because of toxic chemicals in the material.
Simmons said this was one reason why the city opted to pay an additional $50,000 for the encapsulated sand option. He said the new field will also require less maintenance.
“It uses less water and requires no chemicals,” Simmons said of the synthetic turf. “It’s much more efficient with staff time.”
City engineers had estimated the cost of the project at about $390,000. The project will be partially funded by a Youth Athletic Facilities grant worth $193,223 from the state Recreation and Conservation Office.