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The District is responding to a request from a group of community members that has researched installing synthetic turf at the High School. The District does not have money available for this project and is putting the question before the Hockinson community.

What is the current situation?

Hockinson High School’s primary field is planted with natural grass. Due to the rainy climate, proximity to wetlands and poor soils that provide insufficient drainage, the field is often unusable. 

Because it must be preserved for football and soccer games, the field is not used for team practices, community events, PE classes or marching band practices. Many HHS sporting events must be relocated to other venues in the area, which requires district funding, and student and staff travel time. 

The HHS grass field costs $59,790 per year to maintain (plus $6,000 for renting other venues) but is only used 20-30 times per year.

What is the benefit of synthetic turf?

Lower maintenance cost: Synthetic turf costs less to maintain.
Rental revenues: Costs can be offset by revenue generated from other organizations using the field.
Availability and reliability: Synthetic turf is usable any day of the year.

What is the initial cost of synthetic turf?

This project includes design, excavation, site preparation, the new turf, permits and a new track surface. In total, the field and track project would cost approximately $1.5 million.

Given current growth projections, residents would pay an additional 19 cents per $1,000 of assessed home value in 2018, 18 cents per $1,000 in 2019-20, 17 cents per $1,000 in 2021-22 and 16 cents per $1,000 in 2023. (For a $300,000 home, that adds up to $4.75 more per month in 2018.)

How long does synthetic turf last?

Synthetic turf is expected to last 10 years or more before it needs upgrading, which costs less than initial installation. The district expects that money saved on maintenance and revenue generated by field users from other organizations will cover the cost of long-term turf maintenance.

Who would benefit from a new field?

HHS Football 
HHS Girls Soccer 
HHS Boys Soccer 
Clark County Youth Football 
Teams playing in league and regional playoff games
HHS PE classes
HHS Band
Clark County Youth Football 

Other potential user groups include:

HHS fund raisers, camps, tournaments and competitions
Youth soccer and lacrosse
Community sports events and other outdoor events
Adult soccer leagues

Why not upgrade the current field?

The current field could be replaced with a new grass field over a sand base, but (like the synthetic field) this option is not covered in the current budget. An improved natural grass field could support increased use but would still be adversely impacted by wet conditions and unusable for certain periods of the year. 

Data presented by a local citizens committee indicate that a synthetic field will require decreased maintenance costs and provide full-year usability, as compared with a replanted natural field. Synthetic turf has become the standard in student athletics in the Greater St. Helens 2A league and across the state.

How do I learn more?

Please see the flier that was mailed to Hockinson residents in January and is available
For additional information, please contact the District Office at 448-6400 or Superintendent Sandra Yager at sandra.yager@hocksd.org.