PASO ROBLES — Last Tuesday, June 13 Paso Robles residents gathered together to celebrate the start of a new era of Bearcats football with the ribbon cutting that recognized the completion of the turf field project at War Memorial Stadium.
According to Paso Robles Joint Unified School District Superintendent Chris Williams, who delivered an opening speech at the event, the synthetic Matrix Turf field will save both the school district and city water, time and money.
“This will let us save about 4.1 million gallons of water per year and make it so schools are able to use the field year-round for a variety of activities,” Williams said.
While the aforementioned points are notable in themselves, the benefits of the new field do not stop there.
“The Geo Plus infill from Hellas Construction is a 100 percent organic and recyclable mix of cork and coconut fibers which has several benefits including optimal shock absorption and excellent traction in varying weather conditions,” Williams said.
Compared to most synthetic turf fields that typically use the black crumb rubber, this field, because of the Geo Plus fill, will not retain heat, Williams said. It will instead retain moisture and drop temperatures roughly 40 degrees. This reduction will hopefully better stabilize working conditions for athletes, he added.
The entire move from natural to synthetic grass was initiated as a part of the PRJUSD Capital Facilities and Curricular Expenditure Plan, which aimed to assess and reevaluate overall energy and water usage, but also increase student opportunities.
The PRJUSD Capital Facilites and Curricular Expenditure Plan, which was approved by the Board of Trustees back in 2015, called for a timeline that expected projects to be completed within five years. Today however, almost all of those individual projects have already been or are nearing completion.
The completion of each of these projects — including War Memorial Stadium — would not have been possible without the countless donations made by Paso Robles community members.
Tom Maas, owner of Pear Valley Vineyard, donated a very generous $1 million, and also helped secure several other sponsors including those from Ann Cochrane of Heritage Oaks Bank, Eugene Alonso Trucking & Grading, Hellas Construction, Michael Dusi Trucking, Sarah Kramer of Umpqua Bank, Sterling Diamond, Steve Lohr of J. Lohr Vineyard and Viborg Sand & Gravel.
“It’s one big community involvement,” Paso Robles Athletic Director Anthony Mirales said. “It’s not just a Paso Robles Joint Unified School District decision or a Paso Robles High School decision, it’s a community investment.”
For questions regarding the War Memorial Stadium project, contact PRJUSD Superintendent Chris Williams at [email protected]
You may contact reporter Sonja Eschenburg at [email protected]