Kids ran and played ball, some turning cartwheels and kicking up bits of cork in the process, on the new War Memorial Field turf Aug. 7, as city dignitaries milled about in preparation of the official ribbon cutting to signify the opening of the refurbished artificial grass surface – a day that, as Sandpoint Mayor Shelby Rognstad noted, Sandpointians would typically be gathered “under the stars, enjoying a beautiful night” of music at The Festival at Sandpoint, which has been canceled owing to COVID-19 public health concerns.
Rognstad nodded to the yearslong debate over what shape the field would take – as controversial a decision as any in the history of the Sandpoint City Council – recollecting his tie-breaking votes last autumn to approve the artificial turf design as “the most difficult decisions we’ve ever had to make – politically, for sure.”
Sandpoint Parks and Recreation Director Kim Woodruff took in applause for his role in shepherding the project, referring to it as his longtime dream and legacy.
“I can’t believe that we’re here today, finally, after all these years,” he said. “This project has been a long time coming.”
Phase II of the field work will continue into the fall.
“It’s super, super exciting for me to see how we’re positioning ourselves for the future,” Woodruff said.
Words by Zach Hagadone, photo by Ben Olson
While we have you ...
... if you appreciate that access to the news, opinion, humor, entertainment and cultural reporting in the Sandpoint Reader is freely available in our print newspaper as well as here on our website, we have a favor to ask. The Reader is locally owned and free of the large corporate, big-money influence that affects so much of the media today. We're supported entirely by our valued advertisers and readers. We're committed to continued free access to our paper and our website here with NO PAYWALL - period. But of course, it does cost money to produce the Reader. If you're a reader who appreciates the value of an independent, local news source, we hope you'll consider a voluntary contribution. You can help support the Reader for as little as $1.
You can contribute at either Paypal or Patreon.Contribute at Patreon Contribute at Paypal