Highline Public Schools
15675 Ambaum Blvd. SW Burien, WA 98166

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Highline Public Schools
15675 Ambaum Blvd. SW Burien, WA 98166

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Highline's Memorial Stadium Scores $250,000 Grant for New Synthetic Turf

Highline's Memorial Stadium Scores $250,000 Grant for New Synthetic Turf
PHoto of group of people in stadium with check and shovels

Seahawks Bring Big Check to Groundbreaking Event

We are thrilled to announce a $250,000 grant presented by the Seattle Seahawks and the NFL Foundation Grassroots Program. The grant will help fund the installation of a new synthetic turf field this summer at our shared Highline Memorial Stadium in Burien.

We celebrated the successful grant and kicked off the project with a groundbreaking ceremony. Phil Willenbrock, Highline’s director of Athletics, expressed gratitude to the NFL, Seahawks and LISC, a national community development support organization that administers the grant program. 

"We are grateful to the NFL Foundation and LISC for this $250,000 grant stretching our capital dollars to replace the aging synthetic field at our stadium and improve safety," he said.

First Field in State with Girls Flag Football Lines

In a pioneering move, the new field will feature permanent lines for our girls flag football program, along with traditional lines for football and soccer.

"We are proud to be the first school district in the state to include permanent field lines for our new girls flag football program," he added. "This is an exciting step forward for our athletics department and our community."

The Seahawks' commitment to Highline extends beyond this project. They provided an additional grant for uniforms and equipment to start the girls’ flag football teams. "We fielded teams from three high schools and had a great inaugural year. Our students and community have shown immense joy and appreciation for this expansion of girls athletics," Phil said.

Photo of field design and students in stadium

Field Design to Feature Names & Colors of 4 High School Teams

Phil said he is also excited to add the name and color of each of our comprehensive high schools to the four corners of this shared stadium field.

Lauren McGowan, executive director of LISC Puget Sound spoke at the ceremony. She said, "We are honored to partner with Highline Public Schools and the Seahawks to invest in the community's new football field."

In the Seahawks' press release, Mario Bailey, Seahawks vice president of Community Engagement & Legends, said, “We are excited about the opportunity a new first-class playing surface will provide for the young athletes at Highline and the larger community for years to come."

Superintendent Duran & School Board Member Tidholm Accept Check; Students Athletes Say 'Thank You'

School Board member Stephanie Tidholm and Superintendent Duran accepted the check and thanked the Seahawks and LISC. Student athletes from the Highline and Evergreen girls flag football teams each shared a message of gratitude. Representing the Seahawks Community Engagement team, Kyle Dougherty and Kylie Miniefield, presented the giant-sized check.

Coaches and student athletes from girls and boys soccer, football, and girls flag football were on hand to celebrate the kickoff of the field replacement project. Event attendees included athletic directors Lori Box of Highline High School and Ryan Gilmore of Evergreen High School, along with Vy Buck, senior project manager for Highline’s Capital Planning & Construction team and other staff.

This is not the first time Highline Public Schools has benefited from the NFL Foundation Grassroots Program. In 2018-19, a grant helped install a new synthetic sports field at Evergreen High School.

Stay tuned for more updates on the field surface upgrade. The Seahawks hope to return for a celebration of the completed field at a girls flag football game this fall.

Shaw Sports Turf is the contractor installing the new synthetic turf. The project is expected to be completed this summer. 

See more photos on our Facebook post!