Yuba City turf war in planning stages
Football in Yuba City will follow a national trend with a move toward artificial turf for Honker Stadium and a new field for River Valley High.
The $6.94 million projects are part of a larger funding mechanism approved recently by the Yuba City Unified School District trustees.
“What the board has done is approve issuance of COPs,” said Deputy Superintendent Baldev Johal, explaining how the Certificates of Participation are a tool bankrolled by existing Mello Roos District funding streams.
The new stadium will have seating for 3,000 on the home side and another 1,200 for visitors. The field itself will be some kind of artificial turf, Johal said.
Honker Stadium's grass field also will be replaced with artifi-
According to Spinturf, a Pennsylvania-based company, 70 percent of the artificial turf market is comprised of prep projects, and the demand is expected to double by 2009.
Marin Catholic High School in the San Francisco suburb of Kentfield installed an artificial field in August and estimates it will save the school as much as $20,000 a year on its water bill alone.
Johal said district representatives have talked to a number of Northern California schools about their projects and will soon be making site visits.
The district also is talking to as many vendors as possible to compare the pluses and minuses of different products. Athlete safety is a key component of that research, Johal said.
“The key is what they lay underground, what no one ever sees,” Johal said.
In addition to the cost savings the district hopes to realize, Johal said the artificial turf will allow more use of the fields - not only for school competitions, but for community clubs and recreation needs as well.
He said grass fields cannot take the same wear as the district became painfully aware of with Geweke Field, which required $60,000 to repair, and forcing Yuba City High soccer and a number of others teams to seek other places to play for several months last season.
“The best thing of all is we will have two playing facilities where they can have 7-24 use of them,” Johal said.
The district officials emphasized that the projects are in the early planning stages and no specific timeline has been set for when the work will begin or when the fields will be ready.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.