ENID, Oklahoma. – The Longfellow High School football field, which has been closed for several months, is expected to reopen to the wider Enid community by winter, school officials said.
Enid’s public schools plan to reopen the school grounds to the public once the over-seeded ryegrass takes root for the season, district financial director Sam Robinson said.
“If it’s not open for Christmas, it will be open in January for sure,” Robinson said Tuesday.
Longfellow’s Field, which spans eight lots of houses, would then be closed during the summer months to help the turf recover while out of school.
“It’s used well, and as a school district we don’t like to shut it down,” he said, “but we also know at the same time that if we don’t, it won’t be. a grassy area is going to be a land area.
The area includes a full soccer field, basketball court, volleyball court and two swings.
Longfellow’s pitch has been closed to the public since June to restore sod after several areas of the pitch had to be reseeded due to overuse and issues with the sprinkler system.
The basketball courts were initially left open – with a temporary fence around the football field – but Robinson said people started climbing the fence and heading to the damaged grass areas.
Robinson said the district spent nearly $ 30,000 repairing turf this summer to reclaim bare spots, and attention was paid during the school’s football season to prevent areas from being reestablished. .
He added that the pitch fence had also already been repaired from soccer balls that had been thrown into it since it opened in fall 2019.
“Number one, the school is in a great location,” said Robinson. “Second, these kids over there seem to love being outside, and that’s a huge lot to be on. “
All EPS playgrounds are open to the public outside of school hours, but Longfellow’s football pitch was specifically for residents of the surrounding neighborhood to be able to use it as well.
Robinson said district leaders, who surveyed the pitch one day last summer, saw more than 60 adults playing football on the pitch.
“It tells you it’s really a community field,” he said.
The field is also often used by young people who play football outside of school hours, said Mike Steinke, acting director of the Advance Soccer complex under construction.
As the football complex was planned in the far west of the city, the Enid sports association also saw the need for the east side to also have its own open football pitch, said Steinke, a board member of administration of ESA.
Donations from the Allen and McLaughlin families, co-founders of Advance Food Company, then paid for the field as a “thank you” to the community of East Enid.
Phase two of the Enid Sports Association’s multi-year project will begin with the construction of the pavilion for the future Advance Soccer complex at 1526 S. Garland.
Together, the families donated approximately $ 285,000 to build the land, while the district included an additional $ 190,000 from its 2016 bond issue to ensure the safety of the playgrounds and improvements around the land. football, said former construction manager of the EPS bond issuance project, Jessica Nelson.
The spending allowed the district to acquire the properties where the football pitches are currently located, as well as tending to the basketball and volleyball courts and moving the swing, Nelson said on Tuesday. Costs associated with the existing soccer field also included removing the road, adding soil and installing sprinklers, sod and new signage.
Steinke, assistant football coach at Enid High School, said the pitch was excellent from an educational point of view, explaining that children active outside would do better in education and with their attitudes.
“It’s therapy, and it’s wrong with football – it’s any sport,” he said. “It’s good for the kids.”