Hermiston to give school district $100,000 for soccer field space

From the City of Hermiston:

The City of Hermiston will make a $100,000 investment in the Hermiston School District’s Kennison Field Renovation Project.

Renovation supporters have a goal of raising nearly $700,000 for the $4 million project through donations, but City Council Member Jackie Myers describes the City’s portion in business terms.

“This agreement benefits all parties,” Myers said Monday. “There are so many issues out there that this (investment) solves.”

One of the main issues for the city is a lack of quality soccer fields.

An agreement approved by the City Council Monday grants access to Hermiston Parks and Recreation to develop at least two soccer fields at Rocky Heights Elementary School.

The 33 year agreement would allow the city to make parking, playground, and restroom improvements, along with maintaining soccer facilities.

The improvements, coupled with the investment in Kennison Field, bring the estimated cost for the soccer facilities to $180,000.

City of Hermiston Parks & Recreation Director Larry Fetter estimates that developing soccer facilities from raw land would cost well over $1 million.

“We determined at the Soccer Stakeholder Group that this would be the least-cost way to secure new soccer fields,” Fetter said.

Another issue Councilors considered in the investment is the economic development potential that comes with the Kennison Field project.

Kennison Field Renovation Committee Member Dr. Dave Drotzman said Monday that Hermiston will have the potential to see a major impact from tourism associated with state playoff games.

“Once you get to the semi-finals and finals, you have to participate on an OSAA approved field,” Drotzman said.  “Currently there aren’t any east of the Cascades.”

With an OSAA approved field, the Hermiston School District will be able to compete to host state playoff games.