PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – The Portland Public School Board will consider a resolution on Tuesday to immediately replace the Grant Bowl field after it was deemed unsafe for student athletes, the Grant Bowl Community Coalition announced Monday.
Board Resolution 6755 aims to replace the Grant Bowl turf in the fall of 2023 instead of fall 2024, as previously stated by Portland Parks and Recreation and PPS.
Under the resolution, the superintendent would be asked to identify resources to replace the Grant Bowl field and Buckman track — including an optional emergency procurement for a contractor.
The resolution also calls for the City of Portland to offer a long-term lease for the facilities to PPS and asks the parks department to allow PPS to help fund improvements to the facilities. Under the resolution, the city would also be asked to expedite permitting so the facilities can be immediately repaired.
The resolution comes after a PP&R announced Grant Bowl failed a safety inspection and was deemed unsafe for student athletes in an Aug. 12 press release — one day before Grant High School’s fall football and soccer seasons began. The school board said the Buckman track was also closed for permitted use with no plans to repair or re-open the track for Benson students.
Department officials said the field has reached the end of its life, as it was built in 2013 and turf fields typically last 8-10 years. Officials said funding the upgrade was an issue as the parks department faces a $600 million maintenance backlog.
“The Grant Bowl Community Coalition believes that turning over operations of the Grant Bowl and Buckman Track to PPS is the best means of achieving equitable athletic facilities for students. Parks has repeatedly communicated that they have no maintenance funding and a $600 million maintenance backlog with no end in sight. Parks currently issues a long-term lease for Buckman Field to a private soccer club. The club maintains and replaces the turf at the end of its useful life, thus the precedent for a long-term lease exists and should be extended to PPS,” the Grant Bowl Community Coalition said in Monday’s press release.
The resolution will be read at the PPS School Board meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Dr. Matthew Prophet Education Center on North Dixon Street.