Get a peek at the new track and field planned for Capital High

At a community meeting Thursday, school district officials will explain planned renovations for Capital High’s track and field area.
At a community meeting Thursday, school district officials will explain planned renovations for Capital High’s track and field area.

Last February, voters overwhelmingly approved a $160.7 million construction bond measure to renovate aging buildings and athletic fields around the Olympia School District.

About $2 million of that funding package will soon trickle down to Capital High School to pay for a major track and field improvement project.

A community meeting about the west Olympia school’s planned track and field renovations is set for 6 p.m. Thursday in the school auditorium at 2707 Conger Ave. NW.

During the meeting, district officials and the project’s architect will share a concept drawing and information about the project, which includes resurfacing of the track, installing synthetic turf and low-level lighting on the main football/soccer field, and adding security fencing around the track and field, according to Kurt Cross, director of capital planning and construction.

The work is scheduled to take place next summer and should be completed by the time the school year begins in September, Cross said.

The school’s existing grass soccer and football field has drainage issues and is in poor condition, according to Jeff Carpenter, director of health, fitness and athletics for the district.

“It’s been an ongoing issue for a number of years,” he said. “... Even with annual repair and good care, the surface becomes uneven and muddy during the fall and spring.”

When the fields get too soggy, Capital’s soccer and football teams have to travel across town to Ingersoll Stadium next to Olympia High School for their practices, he said.

Plans call for the grass inside of the track to be replaced with artificial turf. The facility will continue to serve as a practice field for Capital High’s football team, which plays its home games at Ingersoll, Carpenter said.

“They practice up there, and they play their freshman or C-team games up there,” he said. “It’s going to be a practice facility for them that will be usable throughout the year.”

The track and field will be closed during construction. Once the upgrades are made, more community sports teams will likely be interested in using Capital’s fields, Carpenter said.

“They don’t use the facility because of the condition,” he said.

In addition, low-level lights that are being installed at the field will allow it to stay open later, Carpenter added.

The district is holding community meetings to provide information and answer people’s questions about all of its major bond-supported projects, according to district spokeswoman Susan Gifford.

Among the other projects covered by the bond measure are other projects at Capital, including construction of a 500-seat theater. The district plans to convert the school’s 350-seat theater into a lecture hall.

However, the focus of Thursday’s meeting will be the track and field upgrades, Carpenter said.

For more information on the meeting or other bond-funded projects in the district, call Gifford at 360-596-6104.

Lisa Pemberton: 360-754-5433, @Lisa_Pemberton

If you go

Learn about planned improvements for Capital High School’s track and field at a meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday in the school auditorium, 2707 Conger Ave. NW.