It’s first and goal for stadium improvements

NKSD artificial turf field enhancements should ready for first football game.

POULSBO — As football season is winding up, the North Kitsap School District’s artificial turf field projects are winding down.

A collective question on the minds of athletes, coaches and fans is: Will the North Kitsap Stadium field be ready in time for the football season’s first game?

Get ready to let loose with a fist pump and “yippee.”

The field, which was was torn up on June 16 to be replaced with artificial turf, will tentatively be ready, as progress is “going well,” said Robin Shoemaker, North Kitsap School District Director of Capital Programs.

Mondo, a world leader in athletic synthetic flooring, will install the turf on NK Stadium and Strawberry Field.

Shoemaker said last week Poulsbo-based Fischer Construction polished off installation of the base rock at NK Stadium, which is the final phase before the turf is laid.

She said either this week or next Mondo will begin installation, a process that will take about three weeks.

“It’s not generous time-wise at this point, but Mondo and the contractors feel confident and have stated it will be playable on Sept. 5,” Shoemaker said. “It’s amazing. As much as you plan, projects end up taking all the time they’re given and still there’s commonly a push at the end to get it complete.”

According to Mondo’s Web site,, more than 800 athletic fields worldwide have Mondo turf and Mondo’s rubber has been the official track surfacing supplier of the last eight Olympic games.

For district and sports purposes the field at NK Stadium is the first priority, with Strawberry Field slated to be finished on Oct. 15. Strawberry still awaits a rock base before the turf is laid. The field will also receive lights to allow for larger and later soccer, football and lacrosse happenings.

Alongside the field enhancements, the stadium track is being revised from 440-yards to a 400-meter measurement and should also be finished on Sept. 5, however, Shoemaker said the lines might be missing.

The overall project budget is more than $2 million, and thus far Shoemaker said the district is on target.

Although the field improvements are a significant financial undertaking and artificial turf has a life of eight to 12 years — Shoemaker estimates NKSD’s fields will need replacing in 12 years — the enhancements will provide several short-term monetary benefits for NKSD and increased facilities use opportunities for the community.

This year’s NKSD facilities use fees have increased and Shoemaker said some of the fee revenue will be set aside to cover turf replacement costs.

She said the district will save on maintenance, water, utility, fertilizer and grass replacement costs, as grass fields under go a lot of wear and tear and therefore place a greater demand on maintenance efforts.

With the fields no longer grass the community will have more play time, because the fields won’t require nearly the amount of upkeep.

“I’m looking forward to both of these fields being put to use and more opportunities for the community,” Shoemaker said. “We’ll all get the benefits of improved fields to play on and it’s an improvement on short-term costs for the district.”

Just across the street at North Kitsap High School, construction dust is also settling.

During the school’s major remodel the dust has been accumulating all year long, but should subside sooner than later as the project is nearing its final phases. The remodel is slated to be finished by early 2009.

Throughout the summer the 400, 300, 600, and 200 wings and the commons are being torn apart and touched up.

“There is a lot going on at the high school,” Shoemaker said. “Things are going well and we’ll get there.”

The wings should be ready for classroom sessions, but the commons, which will be slightly larger, won’t be completed until January. In the interim students will eat lunch in the auxiliary gym.

All the buildings will have new HVAC, electrical and mechanical systems, new lighting, more natural light and new flooring, cabinetry and furniture.

“It’s definitely an improvement that will really support and enhance the learning environment,” Shoemaker said.

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