Roseburg High School will in all likelihood not host Mountain View High School for the football season opener, at least not at Finlay Field.
Tracy Grauf, the physical plant manager for Roseburg Public Schools, made the announcement during Wednesday’s school board meeting while he was providing the board of directors with an update on the turf installation.
Construction crews are about four weeks behind schedule, which would make the turf ready for competition in early September.
When asked if the turf would be ready for the second home game of the school year — Reynolds High on Sept. 14 — Grauf replied, “There’s a chance we could make that one.”
“Once we get the turf finished we should be able to work with the track surface provider to get Friday night games on the field,” Grauf said. “That will be our goal and our hope.”
The track resurfacing will start immediately following the turf replacement and will take 10 to 14 days.
In addition to football, the soccer teams will also be impacted. Soccer teams have practiced and hosted junior varsity games at Fir Grove Field in the past.
Grauf suggested that the football team has the option to practice on the field west of the track, but this will not be sufficient space for games. This practice field has been used in the past by the football team, although not as much in recent years, according to Grauf.
RHS principal Jill Weber, who was in the audience, said the school had just learned about the delay and is looking at alternative sites for practice and games for the fall sports, as well as possibly refunding season ticket-holders.
“As you know the timeline changes over time so we don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves,” Weber said. “We’re hopeful that we can have these home games in support of the kids.”
Knife River completed the underlayment repair work under the supervision of engineer Karel Broda as was approved by the school board during a June 19 emergency meeting. There were four additional soft spots that required repair, costing the school district an additional $26,000.
It was also discovered that the goalpost in the west endzone of the field was “substantially” lower than the one on the opposing end, according to Grauf. The entire field was sloped and will need to be leveled before the turf is placed.
Director Rodney Cotton joked, “that was our home field advantage.” It was said in jest as the teams switch ends at each quarter so both teams would have benefited from the lower post.
During construction the nailer boards were also replaced, to have a more sufficient base for the subsurface, which is expected to last 25 to 30 years.