By Joni Kirk, City of Mill Creek Communications and Marketing Director.
With action by the Mill Creek City Council at its June 19, 2018, meeting, the Turf and Light Replacement project at Mill Creek Sports Park is slated to begin in August. The work is anticipated to take three months to complete.
The council voted to execute design services by Bruce Dees and Associates, not to exceed $61,637.75. Bruce Dees and Associates is a Pacific Northwest design firm recognized for outstanding landscape architecture and sports field turf design.
“This award kicks off our moving forward with this community project,” said Gina Hortillosa, director of Public Works and Development Services.
Mill Creek Sports Park has been the City of Mill Creek’s most popular recreational facility since it was opened in 2004. The project will replace the current aging 64,000 square feet field turf, retro-fit and upgrade the existing park lighting system at the field, skate park, and parking lot. The new light emitting diode (LED) lighting system will also include a new control system. The city will add a 48-inch Americans with Disabilities compliant gate that will serve as a primary entrance off the main parking lot.
The park serves approximately 3,825 youth annually. The field is rented an average of 2,661 hours over the course of 330 days by local youth sports organizations. It serves as the only all-weather turf baseball and soccer field in the city.
The industry standard for an all-weather turf field lifespan is eight years, according to many manufacturers. The field has held up for 14 years of continual use and is experiencing seam tears and loss of granulated rubber cushioning. The new turf will include embedded lines for baseball, soccer and softball, which will eliminate spraying temporary lines on the field twice each year.
The new LED lighting is anticipated to last for 20 years, which is a four-fold increase in longevity and is significantly less expensive to operate. The lights will reduce the power consumption for Freedom Field by an estimated 63 percent, according to Snohomish County PUD. After project completion, the city could apply for a rebate from Snohomish County PUD for updating the field lighting to LED.
The total project cost is expected to be $872,552. The city received $250,000 in grant funding from the State Recreation Conservation Office this year to be used toward design and construction costs. In November 2017, the city signed an Interlocal Agreement with Snohomish County obligating up to $100,000 in the county's REET 2 funds to be used toward the project’s construction costs. The remaining $522,552 of project funding will come from the city’s Community Park fund.