MVLA green-lights new turf fields at both high schools

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Ryan Molinari/Special to the Town Crier
Synthetic turf will replace part of this grass field at Los Altos High, with construction slated to begin next summer. Mountain View High also will get a second turf field on its campus.

Mountain View and Los Altos high schools are set to get new turf fields, with construction expected to start next summer.

The Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District plans to use Measure E bond proceeds to install a new synthetic turf field at each high school. The project is expected to cost $3.9 million per school and completion is anticipated in November 2021.

The only turf field each school currently has is its main stadium field. A secondary turf field will be a huge benefit, Mountain View High School athletic director Shelley Smith said, especially during the winter and spring seasons, when rain is most common.

“By having an extra turf field, we’ll be able to play during inclement weather situations, where in the past we’ve had to postpone or reschedule or cancel games,” Smith said.

While natural grass gets muddy and can be easily torn up if played on in the rain, turf is all-weather. That will be a particular benefit for junior varsity and frosh-soph teams, which are often currently relegated to the existing grass fields, Smith said.

Turf also provides a consistently even playing surface, which he said is a particular help for sports like lacrosse where the field can have a big impact on the speed of the ball. The new field also may help enable Mountain View High to start a girls field hockey team, Smith said.

The turf will replace existing grass on both campuses. At Mountain View High, it will be placed behind the baseball field. At Los Altos High, it will run parallel to the tennis courts, to the west of the softball field.

The district submitted Mountain View High’s plans to the state for approval late last month and intends to submit Los Altos High’s plans this month, Associate Superintendent of Business Services Mike Mathiesen said. State approval is expected by December, with construction beginning next summer.

Los Altos athletic director Michelle Noeth could not be reached for comment prior to deadline.

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