Construction will begin in spring on synthetic turf athletic fields

An anonymous donor family gave $4.4 million to install synthetic turf creating multi-functional athletic fields at Sunset High School.

The project includes the varsity baseball field, repositioning the existing varsity softball field and adding lighting. The synthetic turf will dramatically increase the amount of use the fields can accommodate, especially during the fall season, district officials said Tuesday.

The improvements will provide a year-round surface for Sunset High School’s physical education classes, practice fields for soccer and football teams, softball and baseball teams, marching band, district make-up games and community recreation programs, said Pete Lukich, Sunset's athletic director.

Plans for the project have been in the works for about three months, when a family with children who graduated from Sunset stepped up to help fund the creation of the multipurpose fields.

"Sometimes these things happen, which is fantastic," Lukich said of the donation. "We feel very fortunate and are really excited."

"The most exciting part is that in the fall kids will have better playing surfaces to practice and play on," Lukich added. "Right now, if the rain comes at the wrong time, it can wipe out a grass field. In the spring, you've also taken the weather out of the equation for activities like baseball and softball — with synthetic turf, kids can still play in the rain."

Construction on the fields is expected to begin in late spring and will take three months to complete.

“This gift is incredibly generous and will benefit not only the Sunset High School community, but the greater Beaverton community as well,” said Superintendent Jeff Rose. “The fields will be used by thousands of students year round to practice and compete in sports, marching band and community recreational programs.”

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