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CHS 'up to speed' with new sports complex

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DUVALL - In the way of sports facilities, Cedarcrest High School has long endured not having much to call its own.

Wet weather canceled many games, and teams were often forced to share training fields with other schools because CHS lacked adequate athletic facilities.

That will change this fall when Cedarcrest's new sports complex, funded by a bond levy approved by voters last year, is slated to host its first football game.

"I know this means a lot to us and to the community," said Riverview School District Superintendent Conrad Robertson at a groundbreaking ceremony for the sports complex on Monday, May 20. "To those who have been here longer than I have, this probably means more to you than anything."

The groundbreaking came almost a year to the day after voters passed a $5.75 million bond levy that included $3.29 million for a new sports complex at the high school.

The centerpiece of the complex, which lies directly east of the school campus, will be a synthetic grass football and soccer field surrounded by a synthetic rubber running track.

There will be bleachers with seats for 750 spectators, a press box and a new concession and restroom area.

To the north of the football/soccer field will be an area for track-and-field events such as discus, javelin and shot put.

The sports complex will also have paved parking lots for students and spectators alike.

The sports complex was designed by DA Hogan and Associates Inc, the same firm that has designed the playing field for the new Seattle Seahawks stadium and numerous school sports complexes around Western Washington.

"This will bring Cedarcrest up to speed with the rest of the state," said Dave Anderson, principal engineer at DA Hogan and Associates. "The aesthetics of it will be great.

"The community will be able to use it as well," he added. "It can take unlimited wear."

Robertson said the field will hopefully encourage more students to become involved in sports.

"When the kids see the field, we think it will increase participation," he said.

There are also plans to complete a second phase of the sports complex, which would boast a new baseball field and softball field to the northwest of the school.

Helen Mellor, who chaired the committee that supported the bond levy, said the baseball and softball fields can be funded with money donated to the school district.

Building baseball and softball fields is an expensive proposition, but seeing construction occur on the first phase of the sports complex should spur added interest, Mellor said.

"The reality of this [groundbreaking] makes it all sink in," she said. "I feel like it's officially starting."

So far, construction of the sports complex is on schedule, and Cedarcrest hopes to have most of its fall home games for football and soccer on the new field.

* For more information on how to donate to the Riverview School District, call Mellor at (425) 788-8920.

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