After a series of false starts and construction delays threatened to move the Eagle High football team’s season opener, the West Ada School District announced Tuesday that Eagle’s new field will be ready in time for Friday’s game against Mountain View.
Kickoff is at 7 p.m.
Concerns that the gravel base supporting the field was too soft delayed Sprinturf from installing the artificial turf. West Ada’s $621,204 contract with Sprinturf called for the company to substantially complete the project by Aug. 4 or face $1,000-a-day fines. Those fines are up to $19,000 as of Tuesday.
Crews began installing the turf last week and worked through the weekend and Tuesday to install the logos and markings on the field, West Ada spokesman Eric Exline said. Sprinturf will begin laying the rubber crumb infill Wednesday, and the field will need to pass one final safety test before the Mustangs can host the defending state champs Friday.
“Hopefully if everything is the way it should be, we’ll take over the field and by Friday they’ll be playing on it,” West Ada Activities Director Jason Warr said.
Sprinturf added sand to compact the gravel base engineers deemed too soft. If the base is too soft, it will move underneath the turf, creating waves on the field and safety hazards.
“All along we have had independent civil engineers who are making sure the fill is correct, making sure the compaction is correct,” Exline said. “They are saying it meets the specs.”
The delays will cost Eagle a home freshman game Thursday. Instead, Mountain View will host a freshman/junior varsity doubleheader starting at 4:30 p.m.
Eagle’s isn’t the only field in the West Ada School District facing issues in Week 1. Centennial moved its long and triple jump and pole vault runways away from the sideline of its football field over the summer and added new sod to those areas Aug. 18.
Centennial Athletic Director Jon Watson said the new grass isn’t draining properly yet, forcing the Patriots to move their home JV game this week to Meridian, which will host a freshman/junior varsity doubleheader at 4 p.m. Thursday.
Watson said it’s too soon to know if the Patriots’ varsity home opener against Caldwell on Sept. 1 is threatened.
“The existing field is in beautiful condition,” Watson said. “But the new sod is too dangerous. You step on it and it moves.”