New gym floor, turf field on the horizon for WHS

After more than 60 years, the gym floor in Washougal High School is finally getting an upgrade.

“We’ve been working behind the scenes to develop a communication plan, and will visit a showroom floor to see examples of floors,” said Kelley Wilson, an architect with ESD 112’s construction services group, to the School Board recently.

The visit to Branson Hardwood will take place in late December and will potentially include the WHS athletic director, principal, physical education teachers and coaches.

After a stop at the showroom, the group will visit an area high school with the style of gym floor they prefer.

A budget for the floor will be determined in January, Wilson said. A preliminary estimate is $240,268.

In other news, the district is considering a black turf field to replace the green one, which is more than 10 years old and worn in places. It would be a “convertible” field for football, soccer and lacrosse.

“The next step is to develop a plan and time line for construction,” said Joe Steinbrenner, district facilities director. “After we get that set up, we’ll hire a civil engineer for planning specifications and certification of the drainage system.”

Construction of the field is expected to begin at Fishback Stadium in early July and be complete in time for fall sports practices.

The cost of the black turf field was around $300,000 at West Salem High School, where the district visited, and it has a larger field.

Based on estimates last spring, the district has budgeted $450,00 for the project and committed $200,000 to its replacement. Due to the current shortfalls in education funding, it is not funding the entire project, and is asking the community to raise the remaining money.