Coupeville athletic fields cleared

As work begins to clear the site for a new high school in Coupeville, work also begins to ensure athletes have a place to practice.

Maintenance workers spent the early part of the week bulldozing part of a field at the corner Terry and Ebey roads. Workers will eventually lay sod down to provide a new practice field for the soccer teams.

Then a baseball field will be installed. School officials hope that it can be used as a temporary field to allow baseball games.

Gary Goltz, construction manager for the Coupeville School District, said he is looking for some volunteer help to complete the two fields.

He added there is a volunteer who offered to help with the baseball field, but that volunteer is very busy right now and doesn’t have the time yet.

Plans called for placing seed at the baseball field so it can be ready in time for the spring sports season next year.

The backstop and fences that line the current field will be moved to the temporary field.

Goltz said the school district has a temporary use permit to use the property as a practice field. However, school officials are talking with the county about amending the permit to allow for baseball games. Goltz said people would have to park away from the field and walk to the site.

The new high school will be built on the current baseball field, leaving school officials to look for alternative sites. They haven’t found any available sites.

“There’s a lot of problems involved with borrowing a field,” Goltz said.

The fields in Oak Harbor aren’t available because Oak Harbor High School and the Little League also use the fields and ones near Coupeville are too small, Goltz said.

The school district plans to turn the temporary fields into a permanent park called Kettles Park, which includes a baseball and soccer field. Plans to build the park were delayed when estimates for the high school came in millions of dollars over budget. The park, which was advertised as a lower-priority project when the school district ran a bond in May 2004, was delayed until more money becomes available. The school district had originally planned to use community support and district dollars to complete the project.

Once the park gets funded, Goltz said the school district will move forward with getting the necessary permits for such a project.

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