NORTH BEND — When North Bend installed the turf surface in its football stadium, it came with a guarantee of eight years. The school got nearly twice that, but now the turf is being replaced.
Workers removed the turf, which was installed in 2007, on Tuesday and Wednesday to make way for new turf to be installed in early August.
“When it’s done it will look just about identical to our current field with the exception of it being level with the track,” North Bend athletic director Mike Forrester said. “And the fibers will be a newer product that should stand up instead of laying down after time better.”
Forrester said the field probably had a lifespan of at least two more years, but that school district officials decided to replace it now for a couple of reasons.
One was the difference between the level of the field and the concrete lip that separates it from the track.
Over the years, the field has sunk so that now it is anywhere from half an inch to four inches below the concrete lip.
“This will eliminate that safety concern,” Forrester said.
The other big issue is one of drainage that has developed over the past two to three years.
“When it rains hard, we get standing water from the track out to the numbers on the field which never happened when the field was new, so we will be adding a trench drain that will go around the field,” Forrester said.
The drainage issue also has led to granules from the field, which provide cushion for the players, floating onto the track.
In addition to football, the field is used for home matches for North Bend’s soccer teams, as well as for physical education classes for the high school and middle school.
The process for replacing the turf comes in a few steps.
First, workers from Sportech, a McMinnville company that is a subcontractor for FieldTurf, removed the old turf Tuesday and Wednesday. They cut the turf into strips 7 ½ feet wide by 60 feet long and rolled them up so they could be removed from the site.
Next up, the new drains will be installed and the surface re-graded so it is level with the track by Knife River.
Finally, a crew with the company FieldTurf, which makes the surface, will install the new playing field, which should take two to three weeks and be completed before the first game of the season in late August.
The old turf will be kept in the community and used by a local youth sports program, Forrester said.
The complete cost for the project is about $685,000 — $406,000 for the installation of the new turf and $279,000 for the work by Knife River, said Kevin Bogatin, North Bend School District Superintendent Kevin Bogatin said.
Most of the money for the project was already budgeted, a bit at a time over the past 14 years.
“Our district had the foresight to put money away each year so that we would be prepared when this day came,” Forrester said.