The Canby High School turf field has been condemned for the upcoming spring season, after the Canby School District’s insurer inspected the field this week and determined it is not usable for athletic competition. It was bad news for sports and clubs that had planned to use the field this spring, and who are now seeking alternate locations for their activities.
The field is, literally, coming apart at the seams. The way Canby’s field was constructed, the portions that are a different color — such as the white lines and numbers and the Cougars logo in the center — are actually different pieces of turf that are all sewn together. That’s a lot of seams, and some of them have not held up to the wear and tear over the years. The fear is that the seams could trip or snag or otherwise injure a player as they run down the field.
Activities at CHS’ turf field will be restricted this spring as the district works on a replacement plan. Read more: https://t.co/3IRkeB2SBF
An inspection the district requested from Pacific Sports Turf in Tualatin confirmed this assessment last month. The review found, among other things, that the seams at the midfield Cougars logo had “worn to the point that they can no longer hold the rubber under the field in place” and that some of the lines and additional inlays are “worn to the point of no repair.” The report concluded that the field is unplayable.
The field is a source of great community pride, having been built in 2010 through a local, grassroots (pun intended) effort that raised more the more than $950,000 needed to realize the dream of a then-cutting edge artificial field for Canby athletics. The fundraising was so successful that the initial project was financed without a dime of district money.
Plenty of district funds would be spent on the maintenance and upkeep of the turf in subsequent years, however. In 2016, the district very nearly opted to tear down the field, and replace it along with the new track that was being installed. Instead, the district stayed with Synthetic Turf Consulting, the contractor that had originally installed the field with an eight-year warranty.
Synthetic Turf repaired torn seams and groomed the rubber infield over the summer to ensure the field could be safely used in time for the 2016 football season. Despite the repairs, CHS personnel acknowledged in a district news release that year that the field would probably need to be replaced within a few years.
The district is currently working with Canby lacrosse, track and field and other activities to help support their search for alternate locations. The first preseason games for most spring sports are in just a couple weeks.
A representative said that the district is beginning the planning process of how to best move forward with replacing the field. She said she could not speak to potential costs until the board has given direction on the matter.