For 40 years, the city of Forest Grove and Pacific University have partnered to share the parkland for the university’s baseball and softball programs, but in 2007, the two re-did their agreement to now cover a new football stadium. Since being built 10 years ago, the field turf at Hanson Stadium has not been re-done.
According to fieldturf.com, the company who originally provided Pacific with their turf and is now currently planning to install the new turf, the average life span for their turf is around eight years. This put Pacific two years past due on renewing the turf field.
With the plan for installation by June 19, the timing fits with the university schedule but could affect the summer recreational leagues that share the field. When the agreement between the two parties came about in 2007, the City of Forest Grove Parks and Recreation Director Tom Gamble said the biggest issue in finalizing the agreement between the city and the university came down to two simple words, “use and space.”
When the agreement was made, the city was worried about giving up their own space used for the cities programs in order to accommodate the university, so the university helped in creating a new plan.
“The original agreement was taking away public use and facilities and we didn’t want that,” Gamble said. “So the university stepped up and said they would set up the public facilities lacking in Lincoln Park and build them in Thatcher Park.”
Gamble stated the university gave about $100,000 for the park.
“Our part of the agreement was to give them the land if they agreed to let us schedule events on it with the school getting first priority,” Gamble said.
When asked how the scheduling would be affected during the installation, Gamble was not worried.
“It is a tough job to really pick and trust the deadline, so I have scheduled all of our activities that would normally go on down here, at Thatcher Park instead,” Gamble said. “Unfortunately, we cannot do men’s soccer up there but they are talking to other facilities with turf fields so they should be okay.”
As a backup, many events will still be taking place on the grass practice field located by the football stadium. Gamble does not feel this installation will interfere with parking around Lincoln Park for summer activities.
One of the smaller issues that was created back in the original agreement was who would take care of what. With the university softball field being the only field on school owned land, the two sides had to decide on what to do.