Note: This story was produced by the Economic Alliance of Lewis County as part of a monthly special section published in The Chronicle.
Construction of a new multisport athletics complex at the corner of Iron Street and Centralia College Boulevard began in spring 2022.
Groundbreaking Celebration for the Centralia College Multipurpose Athletic Field took place May 25 in front of the Michael Smith Gymnasium at Centralia College.
“The students of Centralia College have been raising funds for this project since 2013, according to a Centralia College news release. “Their years of work is making this turf facility for baseball, softball, and soccer a beautiful reality.”
Demolition and site prep as well as electrical, lighting, and water systems prep will take the project into summer. Fences, curbs, and the field base is scheduled to be completed in early fall. Turf installation and finishing work (curbs, fencing, etc.) expected to be completed in October-November.
State Rep. Peter Abbarno, R-Centralia, and a former Centralia College Foundation President, call the project our “Field of Dreams.”
“Great effort by Centralia College Student Government, Centralia College Foundation, Centralia College, city of Centralia, and the community for their commitment to break ground and build a sports complex on campus of the oldest community college in continuous operation in the state of Washington (since 1925),” Abbarno said. “I’m proud to be part of this project as a former city councilmember, Foundation Board member, and former Foundation President.”
The sports complex, which will include fields for baseball, softball, and soccer, will use modern turf composed of grass-like fibers supported by soft, tiny balls of cork or other material that works like dirt to hold each blade aloft. The turf is porous, allowing rain to flow straight through into a drainage system. There’s no need to wait for the field to dry out to play.
“The new fields will encourage more athletic participation and enhance Centralia College’s recruiting power,” according to the release. “The college plans to add a men’s soccer team once the field is completed. It already fields teams for women’s soccer, baseball, and softball. Those teams currently play on shared community fields in Centralia.”
The college has been planning for this addition since 1999, when it started buying up the 40-some lots needed for the complex. Students have contributed more than $3 million toward the project through student fees, but more is needed to improve and finish the site.
The Centralia College Foundation is raising funds to provide ancillary equipment to enhance the athlete and fan experience. The foundation’s recent gala raised money for sound systems for all three fields, as well as portable bleachers for soccer and overflow seating.
if you want to donate:
The CC Foundation will be seeking donors to sponsor other amenities for this turf field. If you are interested or have ideas, please contact Christine Fossett at 360-623-8451 or firstname.lastname@example.org.