Crews will install synthetic turf on the girls softball field at Kent-Meridian High School and infill the former pool to use the building for storage and locker rooms for visiting sports teams.
The Kent School Board approved the $695,720 turf project and the $845,021 infill and slab work on the pool, according to Kent School District documents. Both will be funded from non-bond funds. The turf will be installed this summer. The district has applied to the city of Kent for a permit to have the pool infilled.
“The installation of synthetic turf on the girls softball field at Kent-Meridian will continue to provide equity among our student athletes in alignment with Title IX,” according to district documents. “The pool renovation will transform a currently unused building into much needed district storage and warehouse space.”
Voters approved a bond measure in 2016 that included renovation of play fields at Kent-Meridian. The board in 2018 approved synthetic turf for the baseball field but at that time did not have the funds for the softball field.
The district made the change from grass to synthetic turf to better utilize fields during inclement weather, limiting changes and cancellations due to weather and increasing field longevity.
Premier Field Development, Inc., of Snohomish, will install the turf. The company also installed the turf at the Kent-Meridian baseball field, one of the numerous high school and college field projects it has done across the state.
Use of pool building
The city of Kent and Kent School District took over operation of the pool in 2003 from King County. The city released management and occupancy of the pool in 2019 because of the deterioration of the facility and the opening of the Kent YMCA on the East Hill.
The state Department of Health gave the district a timeline of June-July 2021 to either infill the pool with concrete, refill the pool with water, or provide hard barriers on all doors and windows with fencing to encompass the site for safety protocol, according to the district.
District staff determined the building and pool are deteriorated past repair and would be best utilized for much needed temporary storage and warehouse space, after filling in the pool with concrete. The locker rooms and small offices will also be used for visiting teams to have a space when they come for games and or athletic events.