School board considers new turf for Silverdale Stadium

"Central Kitsap School District officials hope to replace the turf at Silverdale Stadium next summer.They also hope the county will help them do it.The Facilities Advisory Committee, a volunteer group composed of school district officials and community members, recommended using $500,000 in federal heavy impact funds to replace the 10-year-old turf, according to CKSD Director of Operations Dirk Gleysteen. But another volunteer community-district group, the Finance Committee, expressed concerns about spending money on an athletic facility, given the district's other needs, Gleysteen said.With those concerns in mind, Gleysteen agreed to approach the county Public Facilities District and a multi-jurisdiction group called the Multiple Use of Public Facilities Committee to inquire about getting help with the turf replacement.Although the stadium is maintained by the school district, it is extensively used by community members for recreational soccer and football games, events like the Relay for Life cancer fundraiser and other activities.Gleysteen said the existing turf is not as resilient as it was when it was installed. It appears to have a couple of years left.School board member Chris Stokke said he has spoken to parents and community members who are concerned the field could cause injuries if the turf isn't replaced.It sounds like to me, when I talk to people, it is a safety issue for people who are using it, said Stokke, who is a nursing professor at Olympic College.Gleysteen added that physicians and athletic trainers have cited anecdotal evidence of poor field condition. He said the field is getting worse and could contribute to injuries suffered by athletes.The turf that currently covers the field at Olympic High School is the original carpet installed in 1990. The stadium originally was built with a grass field; turf was installed due to its heavy use.In addition to the community uses, Silverdale Stadium serves as the primary field for the football, boys and girls soccer, track and field and cross country teams from Olympic, Central Kitsap and Klahowya high schools. Junior high team sports and Olympic High School physical education classes also are conducted on the turf, as are some district and league playoffs - even those that don't involve local schools.We went to turf because we're a multi-high school district and we're playing sports in a lot of bad weather. Turf is a lot more durable, consistent and safe than grass, Gleysteen said.Gleysteen added that he hasn't had specific discussions with Kitsap County or the PFD on the turf replacement yet - the Finance Committee recommendations were made only early last week - but he expected to begin looking into the matter soon. "

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