The Granite Falls marching band perform during a soft opening for the new track and field Monday at Granite Falls High School. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

The Granite Falls marching band perform during a soft opening for the new track and field Monday at Granite Falls High School. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

Granite Falls football field, track receive renovations

The 15-year-old turf field was in need of replacing. There’s hope the new upgrades will attract district and state events.

GRANITE FALLS — The new state-of-the-art track and turf field at Granite Falls High School was unveiled at the Tigers’ home stadium on Monday and will be in usage during the upcoming fall sports season.

A soft ribbon cutting of the school’s recently completed million-dollar facility opened a new era for Granite Falls athletics. The Tigers’ original turf field lasted 15 years after the school’s opening in 2008. It was the longest standing turf field from any high school in Washington, according to former athletic director Michael Mainor Jr. There will be another re-opening ceremony held at the Tigers’ opening home football game on Sept. 8 against Friday Harbor.

After Tiger Stadium’s old turf field was expected to be deemed unsafe for play after going through injury and concussion testing in previous seasons, Granite Falls will look to put its new one to good use over the years ahead.

Mainor, who is now the principal at Granite Falls Middle School, helped spearhead the replacement of the field over an 18-month process.

“It was definitely a team effort and our community needed it,” Mainor said. “It was a need that happened at the right time. Our turf was really beat up, it lasted us a long time and it outlasted its warranty. It served its purpose, and when we couldn’t re-certify the field, we knew we needed a new field.”

Mainor said the typical lifespan of a turf field is about 10 to 12 years with quality maintenance procedures. The school board’s approval to finance the home turf, brightly highlighted with end zones, was secured before district and state budget cuts.

“We’ll try to have the field start paying for itself,” Mainor said. “We can have big tournaments, districts and WIAA events, and show it off.”

A new field paired with the upgrades made to the Tiger Stadium grandstands in 2018, make the Granite Falls facility a marquee venue within the area.

Newly-appointed assistant principal Dave Bianchini, who had been working in the Granite Falls School District for 20 years, is also excited about what the new field can bring.

“Just seeing the growth of the different facilities that we have here over the years with a brand new high school, new stadium,” Bianchini said. “But, now the turf and the track is for sure the best in Snohomish County and rivals any school in the state. … It’s top professional.”

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