SANDPOINT — Sandpoint High School's graduating seniors were the first to sit in the new grandstands at War Memorial Field earlier this month, although completion of the project was set back due to wet weather conditions in the spring.
The full project, including the new gateway, is scheduled to wrap up on July 21 — just in time for the Festival at Sandpoint, which begins Aug. 3.
"The work currently on the site is focused on within the grandstands," said Jennifer Stapleton, city administrator. "Seating is completed ... now it's the underneath work — the locker rooms and other spaces underneath the grandstands themselves."
The new gateway includes three 20-foot-tall pillars surrounding the two 9-foot-tall gates, which form a semicircle. The brick features on the gateway were completed Wednesday, she said.
"They are just waiting to pour the concrete at the gateway, so that is just a matter of scheduling with other contractors," Stapleton said.
Several community members donated to the Friends of Memorial Field fundraising campaign to “buy a brick.” These bricks were originally designed into brick fencing on either side of the gateway. Most of the brick fencing was removed in the final design, so the donor bricks were incorporated into a new concept of a brick seating wall which will be inside the entrance on either side. The two seating walls will be about 21 feet long, 20 inches tall, and will host 120 names each.
The bricks are coming in this week, Stapleton said, and the seating walls will be installed next week.
Turf options for Memorial Field have been discussed at recent workshops, and include artificial, natural, or a combination of both. Stapleton said an online portal will be opened up, likely in July, for the public to provide input.
Stapleton said the decision will not go to council before sometime in the fall, and turf will not be added into the budget for the next fiscal year.
"No matter what surface we choose, there is going to be an impact on somebody who uses the field," Stapleton said. "And we've already impacted everyone this year, so it's a very intentional decision to have a year off, and then do planning again, similar to what went in for the grandstands — what the final product will be, what the timeline will be for installation, and how to work with all of our user groups to schedule it to have as little impact as possible."
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