The “wonderful property” will include new land, potentially further renovations in the future.
Newberg School District’s Reindeer Field is slowly getting a makeover.
The property has served countless purposes over the decades, from college housing to Newberg High School’s football stadium, but is currently underutilized.
“(We’ve been considering renovating Renne) for a while,” said Julie Peterson, recreation manager for Chehalem Park and Recreation District.
Considering it a “wonderful property”, she described Renne Field as large, spacious and flat with parking available and plenty of trees to provide shade.
“It would be a great place, we think, for kids and families to recreate,” Peterson said.
Located near the school district and Edwards Elementary offices, Renne Field now hosts NHS youth football and rugby on its grass field and a youth baseball program on its two fields.
Recognizing the limitations of the grass pitch, the school district and CPRD teamed up to replace it with a multipurpose artificial turf pitch, with the potential for additional renovations in the future.
To help fund the estate, state officials offered a grant of $750,000 which the CPRD pledged to match, bringing the total allocation to $1.5 million or more.
“We’re kind of discussing all the possibilities and there may not be the money right now to do all the things that we’d like to do, but at least get started,” Larry Hampton, operations and school district safety, mentioned.
Funds permitting, the school district and CPRD also plan to replace the complex’s old, weed-infested cinder track with a new eight-lane track.
“The college athletics program is still struggling to find space,” Hampton said. “They use high school facilities but have to wait until high school practices are over. It’s just harder for these programs to have space to do their jobs.”
In the future, the two tax districts hope to build restrooms, concession stands, bleachers and more storage space for sports equipment.
With the funds it has, Hampton predicted that the school district would not be able to meet all of its renovation goals. Beyond the new terrain, they might be able to start on the track, but probably wouldn’t finish it immediately.
“A lot of it depends on what kind of price we get for all the work involved in making the artificial turf,” Hampton said.
At the very least, however, Newberg will finally have another artificial turf pitch. The NHS and George Fox University have the only other artificial turf pitches in the city and the surfaces offer many benefits. One of them is its weather resistance.
“The climate in Oregon – it’s very tough,” Peterson said. “You have several teams playing on this (grass) pitch on a daily basis and so the wear and tear on these pitches is immense. The pitches are so bad at the moment. That’s why we need (artificial) grass.”
When it rains, artificial turf dries out quickly compared to grass.
“You don’t have to cancel practices, you don’t have to cancel games” because of bad weather, Peterson said. “And they last a long time, too. You don’t have the puddle and drainage issues that you have with a typical grass pitch.”
Grass maintenance is also expensive and time-consuming, requiring regular irrigation and mowing.
“If we had (artificial) grass, it would save us time and money,” she said.
Additionally, Newberg does not have a dedicated soccer field, requiring young soccer players to play games in the outfield of Renne Field softball field.
“It would be a great advantage to have a pitch dedicated to football, but it’s also a multi-purpose pitch that any sport can use,” said Peterson, adding that similar-sized communities are also installing grass pitches. artificial.
Hampton said realistically the ground would likely be finished next summer.
“It’s something we think is important for kids,” Peterson said. “We want to see them outside and playing and it just gives us the opportunity to get more kids onto the pitch, even when the weather is not good.”
Hampton noted that he is considering the impact of the artificial turf field on community events taking place on Renne Field, such as the old-fashioned Festival fireworks display.
“If the pitch is grass, will that change any of those things?” Hampton said, adding that he and others would begin to work through the issues if that became the case. “It may limit how much we want thousands of people camping out in the field to watch fireworks. I don’t mean it’s going to automatically change those things, but it will have effects, and we’re going to have to. look at that.”
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