Subscribe to get tough, fair journalism seven days a week.
Subscribe today

Day: March 24, 2015

Everything you need to know about McNary’s turf project

A design mock-up of a planned artificial turf field at McNary High School  coming this summer. (Submitted)
A design mock-up of a planned artificial turf field at McNary High School coming this summer. (Submitted)

McNary High School will be installing a new artificial turf field this summer.

The turf will replace the existing grass field, which means McKay High School will be the only high school in the Salem-Keizer School District with a natural field.

In the two months since Keizertimes last talked with organizers, the project has continued apace. Here are some of the most important questions we asked with updates including the latest information.

What exactly is this project?

About 80,000 square feet of dirt and grass will be removed from the existing Flesher Field at McNary. It will be replaced with FieldTurf, an artificial surface.

How much will it cost?

About $1 million.

Who is paying for it?

The cost of the field will be covered by financial contributions and in-kind donations in approximately a 50/50 split. No Salem-Keizer School District funds are being used.

How will the turf field improve options at the school?

Due to the up-keep involved in natural fields, Flesher Field can currently only be used about 160 times per year. The turf field will be able to withstand 10 times that usage each year over the next 10 years.

Who will benefit?

Both students and the community will benefit from the installation. More sporting activities, including McNary’s soccer and lacrosse teams will be able to host games on the field. The McNary marching band will be able to practice there, and additional physical education classes will be permitted to use it. Community events, like Relay for Life, could also schedule time to use the field provided it does not conflict with school events.

When will work begin?

The project will break ground June 1 and existing dirt and grass will be removed during the next couple of weeks. After that, the groundwork will be laid for the new turf, meaning rock, concrete and drainage piping.

What happens next?

The actual turf will be installed beginning in July.

When will it be used for the first time?

Organizers are hoping to have the field ready for McNary’s annual Blue Day celebration, the third Saturday in August.

How has fundraising been done?

Merchandise sales, auction proceeds, and a variety of other fundraisers have contributed to financial needs. Advertising spaces on the field are being sold.

Who has purchased advertising?

While no names have been released, organizers have a local health care business, tire business, local real estate and local financial representative lined up for the home side of the field. No alcohol, tobacco or weapon-related advertising will be permitted.

How much has been raised so far?

About $375,000 in cash. In-kind donations of rock, fuel, and trucking are still needed. All other in-kind needs are locked in.

How can someone contribute to project?

For financial contributions, visit, or contact Ted Anagnos at [email protected]

In-turf advertising is still available on the visitors side of the field. There are five spaces left and the cost is $15,000. Logo spots will remain on the field for the next 10 years.

Who do I talk with about in-kind donations?

Project consultant Bill McNutt at [email protected], or McNary Athletic Director Ron Richards at 503-399-3238 or [email protected]

Where can I get more information?


McNary baseball back in the swing

Celt Matt Aguilar hits a line drive to the outfield in McNary’s first game of the season Monday, March 16. McNary beat Cleveland High School 14-7. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)
Celt Matt Aguilar hits a line drive to the outfield in McNary’s first game of the season Monday, March 16. McNary beat Cleveland High School 14-7. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

Of the Keizertimes

Last year, the McNary High School varsity baseball made it to the playoffs and took out powerhouse Jesuit High School in the first round of the playoffs.

The Celtics finished third in league with a conference record of 8-7. It was the best year yet in Head Coach Larry Keeker’s tenure in the saddle.

This time around, the league’s Pitcher of the Year, Mickey Walker, is back for his senior season. Walker finished the 2014 season 6-0 with three shutouts, one one-hitter, a pair of two-hitters and a win against every team in the league

While that bodes well for the Celts, the pitching staff beyond Walker remains something of a question, said Keeker.

“I like who we have on the pitching staff and it’s a deep pool, but there are a lot of questions that won’t be answered until they get into the game,” she said.

The Celts can boast a number of seniors this season including Jacob Vasas, Ben Cummings, Cole Thomas, Nick LaFountaine, Connor Goff and Tim Hays.

Hays said the addition of three teams to the new-this-year Greater Valley Conference wasn’t a huge concern.

“We’ll probably have to be more strategic with pitching, but it’s just going out and hitting the ball on offense,” Hays said. “We can hit a lot of line drives, throw a lot of strikes and I don’t think our defense will be making a huge amount of errors.”

Goff said he was eager to see sophomore Josiah Gilbert on the mound this season.

“He pitched real well for us in summer league this season,” Goff said.

Walker, who has already signed on to pitch with St. Martin’s University next fall, said he just wants to see the team play competitively and with energy while getting some W’s on the mound.

During spring break, the Celts are headed to Arizona to compete with other teams from around the nation.

“We play four times and watch three spring training games, but the real payoff is coming back having spent bonding time with the whole team,” Keeker said.

In recent years, the team has stuck around the area to play in Oregon-based tournaments, but frequently made the pilgrimage to Arizona before that.

Goff said the key to a better season this year will begin with the first pitch of every game.

“We have to come out and start putting the ball in play. It’s easier to start hot than get warmed up,” Goff said.

McNary won its first game of the season Monday, March 16, hosting Cleveland High School. After a pair of errors plated two runs for Cleveland in the second inning. The Celts responded with six of their own in the bottom of the frame en route to a 14-7 win.

(Editor’s note: This version  of the story differs from the one that appeared in the paper Merch 20. Due to reporter error, stats from last year’s season were incorrect in the print edition. Keizertimes regrets the error.)