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School board mulls artificial turf

The Brookings-Harbor School Board gave Brookings-Harbor High School Athletic Director Buell Gonzales its full support Wednesday to form a committee to look into replacing the grass field inside the track at BHHS with artificial turf. The estimated cost is $1.2 million.

The committee would apply for grants and brainstorm fundraising opportunities; the project would have zero cost to the district, Gonzales said during the meeting. 

“With our climate, absolutely,” board member Brad Peters said. “What a plus for the district. Absolutely, positively.”

The total cost of the project includes everything from dirt removal to building a fence around the track, Gonzales wrote in a letter to the board. The cost of installing the field, which is expected to last eight to 12 years, would be $650,000. A replacement turf would cost $550,000. It would be needed after eight to 10 years.

He estimates that the project will take 18 months to complete, and the field would be ready for the fall 2014 sports season. 

Gonzales is proposing the 20-year-plan because “the grass fields we have at the high school drain so poorly that the fields are unusable for half the school year,” he wrote in the letter. “There is one football field in town and one ‘usable’ soccer field. Currently the outfield of the baseball field is used as a soccer practice and game field during the fall. The football field inside the track is used only as a football field during the fall.

“The School District currently has four football teams and two soccer teams that need to use the fields during the fall season. The community has two youth organizations – Curry Football and Brookings Youth Soccer that use the district fields for practice and games. 

“Our football field is used for home JV and/or V Football games on Thursday and Friday. The two MS Football Teams use the field for home games on Saturday and Curry Youth uses the football field for their home games on Sunday. After a rainy couple weeks and 10-plus home games the football field is a complete ‘mud pit.’”

Gonzales already has discussed costs and alternate options with turf companies.

When the committee has more information, it will report its findings to the board.

In other business

The school board approved the refinancing of the district’s general obligation bonds that were used to build the library and cafeteria at Kalmiopsis Elementary School, for example. If the refinance is approved, it will save Curry County taxpayers $256,373. However, to refinance, the district has to get a rating through a rating agency, which will cost the district $12,000. 

In his Superintendent’s Report, Brian Hodge said the new play structure at Kalmiopsis was approved by the district’s insurance company, the new website should be up the second week of January and the property that Upper Chetco School is on was appraised Friday (Dec. 21). The district hopes to sell the property by the end of the year. 

During the Student Representative report, BHHS junior Jessica Yock told the board that Leadership students delivered presents to families Friday (Dec. 21), spent two mornings wrapping toys for Toys for Tots and gave teachers gifts for Teacher Appreciation Week.


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