School district to renovate Kennison Field at Hermiston High

By Ty Beaver, Tri-City HeraldJanuary 9, 2013 

The Hermiston School District will move forward with renovating Kennison Field at Hermiston High School after collecting more than $700,000 in donations.

A fundraising committee collected the money for four months to close a gap in the $4 million project's finances, according to a press release from the district.

The district wants to start construction in early February and complete it before the high school's first football game in the fall.

"The Hermiston community and region is simply amazing," deputy superintendent Wade Smith said. "From individuals to corporate partners, the support, both financially and emotionally has been nothing short of remarkable."

The athletic facility hasn't been updated in decades. The bleachers are out of code and there are cracks in the track encircling the football field.

The renovations -- including a new track surface and press box -- will benefit the soccer, lacrosse, and track and field programs, as well as the football team. FieldTurf will be installed to reduce injury risks.

District officials and community members have pushed to bring the facility up to standards required by the Oregon School Athletics Association for state-level competitions in football and track. Collegiate-level events could also be held there.

Federal and state grants are paying for the bulk of the work, but the $700,000 from the community was needed to cover the balance. Individuals, businesses and the city of Hermiston chipped in.

District officials and others have touted the project's potential economic benefits, bringing games, events and sports fans to the community.

-- Ty Beaver: 509-582-1402; tbeaver@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @_tybeaver

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