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Stadium grant moves forward

No different than the Enumclaw High Hornets marching down the field toward the end zone, the Your Enumclaw Area Stadium Improvement Committee is heading toward its goal.

The committee is eyeing the Friday deadline on an NFL Grassroots Program grant, that if awarded would land them $200,000 toward a synthetic playing surface at Pete’s Pool.

“It’s an awesome place to watch the game,” said chairman Chris Van Hoof, who also played at Pete’s Pool as a student athlete. “There’s history there and we don’t want to lose that.”

A synthetic, all-weather surface is Phase 1 of the planned stadium improvements. The second phase calls for 2,000 addtional seats, concessions, locker and rest rooms, a score board, sound system and press box.

According to Van Hoof, who made the announcement at the Enumclaw School Board’s Oct. 19 meeting, part of the grant process is securing matching funds and a letter from the Seattle Seahawks. Both are in hand.

Mutual of Enumclaw committed $50,000 and in-kind donations are coming from local construction companies like McDonald, Carl Sanders, Wheeler and Corliss.

The total cost to renovate the field alone is estimated at $880,000, so other community donations will be sought.

YEAS should know in December if it is a winner. Van Hoof said there will be strings attached; the work would have to be completed within 18 months.

The grant, awarded by the Seahawks, the NFL Youth Football Fund and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), went to Aberdeen last year, whichused it toward the construction of a synthetic field at Aberdeen High School, the sole athletic field for the city of Aberdeen since 1906.

The NFL Grassroots Program has resulted in the construction or renovation of 170 football fields nationwide in the past decade. In the last 11 years, the NFL Youth Football Fund has granted more than $25 million to revitalize playing fields in underserved neighborhoods. Fields are newly built or significantly renovated, with improvements such as irrigation systems, lights, bleachers, scoreboards, goal posts and turf. Grassroots grants are issued once established funding thresholds are reached for each project.

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