8-15-14: Newly renovated track and field set to open at Rogers High
8-15-14: Newly renovated track and field set to open at Rogers High
Posted on 08/15/2014

The newly renovated Rogers High track and field is set to open this month in time for the start of high school football, cross-country, and girls soccer practice.


Construction began shortly before school let out in June when the first shovels of dirt were turned during a ceremonial groundbreaking attended by students, coaches, school leadership, and district representatives.


“We have been waiting a long time for this,” said Rogers High Associated Student Body President Logan Krehbiel. “It’s going to be an excellent addition to the school … It’s a great day to be a Rogers Ram.”


Puyallup School Board Director Dane Looker added, “The new Rogers High field will give students and the community a state-of-the-art complex to play on. I think it’s going to be beautiful, I think it’s going to enhance the Rogers campus, and I think it’s going to be utilized in many different ways. This is a win-win all across the district.”


The project, which is expected to be fully completed by next month, includes an all-weather synthetic artificial turf field, as well as a digital scoreboard, public address sound system, ticket booth, small press box, and field lighting.


One of the most noticeable improvements is the artificial turf field, which replaces a grass field that had divots and was prone to puddles and other standing water problems during rainy weather.


The renovated field has a subsurface drainage system that supports having it used year-round. It also features a large two-toned blue “R,” representing Rogers High and the school colors. The letter is inlaid with field turf fabric in the center of the field.


Other improvements include long-jump and triple-jump runways, a shot put throwing pad and landing areas, the installation of fencing and walkways, and the resurfacing and restriping of the track.


While the plan was to double the size of the existing bleacher seating by adding more seats on the north side of the field, the district was unable to do so due to Pierce County Public Works permit requirements.


The additional visitor seating would have required more than $1 million in road improvements, said Chief Operations Officer Rudy Fyles.


Except for the fewer number of visitor bleachers, the Rogers High project is identical to the field and track renovation completed in 2011 at Emerald Ridge High School.


The track and field will be used by Rogers High School students for P.E. classes, as well as for junior varsity and varsity girls soccer practices and games, junior varsity football games, varsity football practices, cross country, and track.


Varsity football games will continue to be held at Sparks Stadium.


The school board agreed to renovate the track and field to provide students and the community with quality practice and game surfaces while freeing up time at Sparks Stadium for other athletic uses, such as Puyallup High girls soccer.


The $3 million of improvements are being paid for with state matching funds and interest income collected through the voter-approved 2004 school bond. State law requires that matching funds be used for capital (construction-related) projects.


When not in use by district schools, the track and field will be open to the community. Additional lighting will extend the time the field is available for use.


The field will have markings suitable for football, soccer, and lacrosse, said Rick Wells, director of athletics, health, and fitness.