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Iowa City Schools West High School Athletic Improvements

Challenge

The Iowa City Community School District was faced with deteriorating field conditions at the West High School competition field.  In 2013, the athletic director began advocating for replacing the field that had been around since in 1991. The natural grass field was over used between football, soccer and physical education classes and each fall the field would see a lot of wear and tear.  With a high-performing football team and increasing number of synthetic fields being played on, the owner had to make a decision on spending $400,000 to upgrade the field with new grading, irrigation, water access, play clocks and new goal posts to continue hosting playoff games or upgrade to a new synthetic turf multi-purpose field.
 

Solution

A master plan of the school's entire athletic facilities was completed to help determine a course of action. Each field was reviewed including baseball, softball, soccer, competition and practice fields, and six tennis courts. A phased-in approach was used to provide a new synthetic turf competition field, complete with a new track resurfacing; new access walkway paths to the stadium; new perimeter fencing; improved seating; new practice fields including irrigation; and new tennis courts. Each field and tennis courts were included in a site layout plan complete with cost opinions. 
 
The first three phases included the competition field, walkway with new fencing for crowd control and reconstruction of the practice fields. Each of these presented their own challenges, but through close working relationships with the owner and school staff, construction of the competition field and track resurfacing was completed during the summer months with the remaining two smaller packages taking place after the fall football season. 
 
A new bleacher system, team benches, scoreboards, and field lighting were also designed by Shive-Hattery, along with the relocation of the soccer field’s access drive. 
 

Impact

Today, the school has a beautiful competition field and track in addition to new walkways, ADA parking, ticket booths and reconstructed practice fields.  The practice fields were graded such that the school can shift practices north-south direction or east-west direction to minimize wear and tear in two smaller areas. 
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