The following is a press release issued by the Ukiah Unified School District:
Ukiah Unified School District is proud to announce that construction is set to begin in September on a new all-weather regulation size soccer and sports field on the north side of the Ukiah High School campus. If everything goes as planned, the field could be completed this winter, in time for part of the 2021-22 soccer season. But that will depend on how early the rains start and how much rain we get.
“This is a proud moment for Ukiah Unified. We have been dreaming about a field like this for years, and now it will be a reality in just a few months. I can’t tell you how excited I am for our student-athletes, who will now have the opportunity to play on a world-class field! Our students deserve this. I want to thank our community because we couldn’t have done this without the support of our voters and the passage of Measure A,” said Ukiah Unified Superintendent Deb Kubin.
The project’s design and development phases were completed in March 2021, and a public review of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) documentation was held from June through July of this year. The district received no public comments, and the extensive environmental impact process was reviewed and accepted by Ukiah Unified Trustees with a unanimous vote at their meeting on August 19, 2021.
Verde Design, Inc., a California firm specializing in high school and collegiate athletic facilities, was the Landscape Architect for the field project. GHD handled the CEQA environmental review process, which requires public agencies to consider the environmental consequences of their actions before approving a project. Santa Rosa-based Counterpoint Construction Services will manage construction of the field. FRC, Inc. of Windsor is the general contractor.
Ukiah Unified Director of Maintenance, Operations, and Transportation Gabrial Sherman commented, “Any school construction project in California can be challenging at the best of times, but this project has been a labor of love from the beginning. The passion and drive of our local stakeholders to provide a state-of-the-art facility for our kids have been inspiring. Their vision, combined with the first-class design and construction team we have assembled, will end in something truly special that will benefit our community for many years to come.”
An all-weather sports and physical education field for Ukiah Unified and our community was one of the top-selling points of the successful Measure A bond election in March of 2020. The 7.9-million-dollar all-weather field is one of many Measure A projects planned to benefit Ukiah Schools.
In addition to building the soccer field, the project also includes LED lighting upgrades for the Ukiah High School football stadium and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) improvements near the new soccer field and football stadium. ADA Improvements include a paved path of travel to the new north field, new signs at parking entries, and the replacement or repair of nearby parking spaces, including curb ramps and truncated domes.
Stephen Summers, Ukiah High School Athletic Director, said, “We are very excited about the addition to our facilities and to see the Soccer Complex come to fruition. The Soccer program is the fastest-growing program at Ukiah High School, and they will now have their own space to continue their growth and take the next step towards consistently competing at the North Bay League (NBL) and North Coast Section (NCS) level. I think this facility is an excellent addition to Ukiah High as a whole.”
The new field will have many more uses than soccer. Multiple Ukiah Unified facilities committees and community sports groups have identified the need for a lighted, all-weather athletic field at Ukiah High School. Ukiah Unified physical education departments and other sports teams will ultimately utilize the all-weather field for classes and practices. Specifically, when it is raining or wet from rain, the field will allow physical education departments and other sports teams the option to continue outdoors on the all-weather surface.
“The new all-weather field will be a fantastic addition to our district, and it supports our goal to provide the best opportunities possible for our students. The field doesn’t just benefit our soccer teams, our community as a whole will benefit,” said Ukiah Unified Board of Trustees President Megan Van Sant. “Our soccer programs will have a place to call home, we can bring more visitors to our area with tournaments and other events, and the beautiful field will inspire more physical activity, which will help improve health and wellness.”