Despite Mother Nature's best efforts the past couple of days, Civic Stadium will indeed host a pair of high school football games on Saturday, Sept. 7.
"It's not 100 percent done, but it's playable and it looks good," Bellingham Parks and Recreation Department recreation manager Greg Hatch said in a phone interview on Friday afternoon, Sept. 6. "Considering the weather we've had the last couple of days, we'll take it."
Both Sprinturf, which installed the new artificial playing surface for a little less than $400,000, and consulting firm D.A. Hogan & Associaties from Seattle gave the new field a thumbs up.
"They gave it the once over to see if it was safe, and they said we can play," Hatch said. "It's great to finally be able to announce some good news."
Sehome will host Nooksack Valley in the first game on the new surface. Bellingham mayor Kelli Linville is schedule to do the coin flip before the 1 p.m. kickoff.
Bellingham will then host Mount Baker at 7 p.m. in the night cap.
Getting the field finished in time for those games was in doubt the past couple of weeks after a drainage issue was discovered in the base surface following the removal of Civic's old artificial playing surface, which was installed in 2000. That forced the project to be delayed approximately two weeks so that 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.
Recent rainy weather has hampered efforts of the installation crews, who have had to dodge raindrops and work some evenings the past week.
But those problems appear to be in the rearview mirror, and the games will go on. The finishing touches on the field will be completed next week, Hatch said.
"It's been a rollercoaster ride, but it ended up working out," Hatch said.
Reach DAVID RASBACH at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 715-2271.