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National Guard Assists With SHS Turf Field Project

National Guard Assists With SHS Turf Field Project
Allison McGowan

The conversion of the main athletic fields to artificial turf at Springfield and Thurston high schools is underway. The Board of Education approved funding for the projects in February.
 
The District has partnered with the Oregon National Guard for partial removal of the soil at Silke Field. People should anticipate seeing the National Guard working at Silke on the week of May 5. The work to remove 9,000 yards of soil could last several weeks. Partnering with the Oregon National Guard will keep the cost of dirt removal low.
 
Those traveling in the area should prepare for minor delays on 10th Street as dump trucks will be entering and exiting the field. The excavation crews will attempt to minimize the impact to pickup and drop-off areas at Brattain House, Two Rivers – Dos Rios Elementary, and Springfield High School.
 
A private contractor is targeting the week of May 12 for the removal of soil at Thurston High School. Those traveling in the area around Thurston High School should expect minor delays due to heavy machinery.
 
The premium topsoil recovered from both current grass fields is slated to be repurposed to improve green spaces at schools throughout the District.
 
The request to convert the fields to artificial turf came from both high schools and community groups, citing the inability of other students and youth athletic programs to utilize the fields due to the deterioration of the grass fields during football season. Converting to artificial turf will allow other students and groups to use the field year-round, including soccer, band, lacrosse, cheerleading, and physical education classes.

Both fields are expected to be completed by the start of the 2024-25 school year, and construction is not expected to impact this year’s graduation ceremonies.