Sehome pushes Week 1 game back one day to accommodate Civic turf installation

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDAugust 29, 2013 

28 Civic update

A crew from Sprinturf installs the new turf at Civic Stadium on Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013 in Bellingham.

ANDY BRONSON — THE BELLINGHAM HERALD Buy Photo

It's not even 24 hours, but it just might be the difference between opening at home and playing on the road.

Sehome High School announced on Wednesday, Aug. 28, that it will move back its season-opening football game against Nooksack Valley to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 7.

Most importantly, the game is still scheduled for Bellingham's Civic Stadium.

The game was originally scheduled for 18 hours earlier on Friday night, Sept. 6, but a delay in the installation of the new artificial playing surface at Civic Stadium put that time in jeopardy.

"I spoke to (Bellingham Parks and Recreation Department recreation manager) Greg Hatch, and he said Friday night was still a good bet, but an extra day certainly would help," Sehome athletic director Colin Cushman said in a phone interview. "We still realize that, as with any construction project, anything can happen, but we felt moving it back gave us a better chance to host it."

Sehome had looked into the possibility of moving the game to Nooksack Valley if installation was not completed by Sept. 6.

"If we had the option of playing at Nooksack on Friday or in Bellingham on Saturday, we wanted to make sure we gave ourselves a chance to play at home," Cushman said. "We've still got a chance to be the first ones on the new turf."

Assuming the turf is installed by Sept. 7, it will have a busy initiation. Civic Stadium is now scheduled to host a day-night doubleheader, as Bellingham is scheduled to host Mount Baker at 7 p.m.

The Red Raiders also have looked at the option of moving their game to Mount Baker and shifting it to Sept. 6 if the turf isn't ready, but barring any more complications, that move may not be necessary.

The replacement of Civic's 13-year-old artificial turf - the first synthetic field used at the stadium - began shortly after Bellingham United wrapped up its Pacific Coast Soccer League regular season schedule on July 21.

After the removal of the old surface, tests revealed the field's base material wasn't draining properly, forcing the project to be delayed while Premier Field Development Inc., could be brought in to scarify the base material, or break it up so that it could drain more rain water.

"We feel like we've gotten rid of any draining problems," Hatch said about tests following the work.

The new surface began to be rolled out on Monday, Aug. 26, and Hatch said the estimated installation time was two weeks, putting construction right up to the original Sept. 6 first-game date.

The new surface is being installed by Sprinturf, which came in with a bid of a little less than $400,000. The extra drainage work cost approximately $47,000, which will be covered by the project's $80,000 contingency fund, Parks and Recreation Department project engineer Gina Gobo Austin said. The project was funded by $180,000 from Western Washington University and $300,000 from the 1997 Beyond Greenway levy, Gobo Austin said.

WEEK 1 FOOTBALL SCHEDULE

Friday, Sept. 6

- Lummi at Pomeroy, 6 p.m.

- Anacortes at Friday Harbor, 7 p.m.

- Meridian at Burlington-Edison, 7 p.m.

- Mount Vernon at Sedro-Woolley, 7 p.m.

- Blaine at Ferndale, 7 p.m.

- Omak at Lynden Christian, 7 p.m.

- Squalicum at Kingston, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 7

- King's vs. Lynden (at Husky Stadium), 1 p.m.

- Nooksack Valley at Sehome (at Civic Stadium), 1 p.m.

- Mount Baker at Bellingham (at Civic Stadium), 7 p.m.

Reach David Rasbach at 360-715-2271 or david.rasbach@bellinghamherald.com .

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