South Sound school districts begin summer upgrades for fields, facilities

Several South Sound school districts have scheduled major renovations, repairs and upgrades at their sports facilities this summer.

One of the biggest projects is at Ingersoll Stadium in Olympia, where crews have begun replacing field turf that was installed 11 years ago.

The new material is called Revolution 2 and cost about $524,000 according to Jeff Carpenter, director of health, fitness and athletic programs for the Olympia School District.

“It’s the same (kind of turf) that’s at the University of Washington and Century Link,” he said.

Last week, crews with Snohomish-based FieldTurf Northwest finished removing the old turf and began leveling the football field that’s shared by Olympia and Capital High schools.

The company also has the contract to replace the turf at South Sound Stadium in Lacey for $553,000.

“We installed the turf in 2005, and it had reached the end of its safe life,” said Dean Martinolich, assistant director of construction and design for North Thurston Public Schools.

The new turf will be paid for with North Thurston’s capital projects funds and excess rental fees that have been collected, according to North Thurston Public Schools spokeswoman Courtney Schrieve.

Other sports-related renovations in the area:

• Tumwater School District has begun a $1.8 million renovation of the weight room at Tumwater High School. Crews also have begun resurfacing the track at Black Hills High School, which cost $72,000, according to district spokeswoman Kim Howard.

The new weight room will be about 3,500-square-feet and will be paid for with money from the district’s 2014 bond, according to Paul Smith, a project manager with the school district.

• Crews are replacing the track at Rochester High School and adding bleachers to the visitor side of the football field, which is a $250,000 project, according to Rochester School District Superintendent Kim Fry.

• A renovation of the stadium and fields at Tenino Middle School is underway, according to superintendent Joe Belmonte.

“Structural work is needed at the stadium to repair water damage and dry rot,” he said. The nearly $48,000 project for the stadium will be funded with money generated by a $7.95 million capital projects levy approved by voters in February.

The district also is upgrading the irrigation systems at its fields and installing new bleachers at the stadium, in the middle school gym, and at the high school fast pitch and baseball fields.

“The old bleachers were not ADA accessible, not to code and over 25 years old,” Belmonte said. The cost to replace the bleachers is $172,844.

Olympia’s Ingersoll Stadium closed June 15 and won’t reopen until late August. South Sound Stadium will be closed from July 6 to Aug. 16, according to signs posted at the facility.

Crews are installing new signs and painting goal posts and ticket booths at Ingersoll. About $400,000 in repairs, which included resurfacing of the track and upgrading its 3,000-seat stadium, were made in 2013. About $418,000 in emergency repairs were made at the stadium the year before, after engineers discovered extensive water damage.

Funding for the latest project will come from the district’s capital fund, according to district spokeswoman Rebecca Japhet.

Ingersoll’s old turf was designed to last eight to 10 years, Carpenter said. “We had 11.”

However, by the end, it was freckled with bare spots. Patches were created from turf that had been cut from the end zones, and the fibers were broken and split.

According to a district presentation for the Olympia School Board in April, portions of the field had sunk about an eighth of an inch, causing trip hazards.

“That’s just age and use,” Carpenter said.

The new turf will take about a four weeks to install, Carpenter said.

“Then, we have to let it sit for about a week or two before we can get on it,” he added.

At South Sound Stadium, the old turf will be recycled at FieldTurf’s plant in Orting, Schrieve said.

“The fill material used is sand and Nike recycled rubber,” she added.

Crews are also replacing the track, which will cost $229,000, and upgrading the stadium’s scoreboard for $40,000.

“This time the track will be red in color instead of black, which should be a dramatic change with the new turf,” Martinolich said.

In addition, River Ridge High School’s track is being cleaned and striped, which is a $6,000 project, Schrieve said.