Muddy potholes and rained-out practices may be a relic of the past at Evergreen High School. The school’s dreamed-of synthetic turf field now has the funding to become reality. Highline Public Schools will install a multi-sport turf field thanks in part to a $250,000 grant from the Seahawks, the NFL Foundation and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). Highline also received a $250,000 grant from King County Parks.
“In many ways, the community of White Center and our scholar-athletes attending Evergreen and Cascade will significantly benefit from the facility improvements on campus thanks to these generous grants by the Seahawks and King County,” Highline Public Schools Athletic Director Phil Willenbrock said.
The new turf field project will give Highline’s north end community better access to team sports and physical activities. In the past, Evergreen’s boys and girls soccer programs have traveled offsite for practice. Now with a field of their own, athletes can stay on their own campus. This means less time after school travellng and more time and flexibility for after-school meetings with teachers and homework.
The field will have lines for football and soccer, with full end zones. The new turf field will replace the grass football practice field, and be constructed inside the existing track. The project will include space for track events, such as long jump, high jump, javelin and shot put, adjacent to the track. This layout makes the most efficient use of space and fills multiple needs for students and community organizations.
The field is estimated to open August 2019—in time for fall sports practice. Staff expect to submit a construction permit in November, with work starting as early as May if approved.
With significant water savings and low maintenance requirements, a synthetic turf field not only increases access during the long rainy season, it is estimated to save up to 1 million gallons of water a year and eliminates lawn mower emissions. Synthetic turf extends use during the wet season when grass fields are more likely to suffer damage and need to be closed.
The cost of the new turf field is approximately $1.4 million. After the half a million dollars in grants, Highline Public Schools will pick up the difference with non-bond dollars in the capital facilities budget. These grants made it possible to afford to move this project forward.
The King County Youth and Amateur Sports Grant was awarded in January 2018. The Seahawks/NFL Foundation/LISC grant was received this summer.
The new field will serve Evergreen High School and Cascade Middle School athletics. It will also be available for the White Center community to use outside of school hours and practices.