Hellas Construction is aiming to complete Ashland High School’s newly renovated multi-sport field by July 15, Ashland School District Superintendent Jay Hummel said Thursday.
The estimated $1.56 million renovation, which includes a natural infill, a 65-yard wide field and new stadium lights, will allow the district to host multiple events, practices and even physical education classes at Walter A. Phillips Field.
A grand opening is tentatively scheduled on Sept. 2 between a 4 p.m. varsity boys soccer game and 7 p.m. varsity football tilt. Hummel said Ashland High graduate and primary donor Jeremy Guthrie, a professional baseball player who contributed $650,000 to the cause, is planning to attend.
Hummel, whose last day as superintendent is June 30, is also planning on being there.
“It’ll be a fun evening,” he said. “A lot of hard work has gone into it. It’s been a monster.”
Currently, the field looks like a flat dirt rectangle, as crews from Hellas have installed a new drainage system, demolished about half of the visitors’ bleachers and prepared the site for the infill and field installation. The new lights have been installed, and the turf is expected to be laid down soon.
“It’s been sitting there a week or so ready to go,” Hummel said. “I was told they might have started laying the carpet as soon as last Thursday and obviously that hasn’t happened. But they’re completely ready. Regardless, it’s all carpet at this point, and fill.”
Yet to be determined is whether or not Ashland High will be able to host its annual Fourth of July American Band College concert, and if so, where.
“We’ve held it (at Phillips Field) for a ton of years,” Hummel said, “so we’re still trying really hard to do that and it looks like we won’t be completely finished until the middle of next month.
“We’ll figure it out. We’re wondering about a temporary surface that we can roll out on that thing, so we’ll take a look at that.”
To view a live video stream of the renovation, visit https://video.nest.com/live/UQcp6c.
Joe Zavala is a reporter for the Ashland Daily Tidings. Reach him at 541-821-0829 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @Joe_Zavala99.