Education

Portland Parks, schools agree to replace Grant field in time for 2024 fall sports

By OPB staff (OPB)
Aug. 22, 2023 12:18 a.m.
The Grant High School football field in Northeast Portland, photographed on Aug. 13, 2023. A day earlier, Portland school and parks officials announced that the field would not be used for organized sports because it failed inspection

The Grant High School football field in Northeast Portland, photographed on Aug. 13, 2023. A day earlier, Portland school and parks officials announced that the field would not be used for organized sports because it failed inspection

Rob Manning / OPB

Leaders of the city of Portland and Portland Public Schools say they’ve worked out a deal to replace and reopen the turf at Northeast Portland’s Grant High School — a 10-year-old soccer and football field recently deemed too dangerous for organized sports use.

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The city parks department announced earlier this month that the field within the “Grant Bowl,” an oval-shaped part of Grant Park in Northeast Portland, had failed three safety tests in 10 months. Repairs could not restore the field to safe playing conditions.

Portland Parks & Recreation leaders noted that the department is suffering from a dramatic maintenance backlog. They also cited a legacy of underspending on parks maintenance. Over the past year or so, Parks officials also cited the need for more maintenance funding when they announced the permanent closure of 93-year-old Columbia Pool in North Portland and when they removed several hundred aging lampposts from a dozen city parks.

In the case of the field at Grant High, initial estimates when the field’s synthetic turf was installed in 2013 gave it an 8-10-year life span.

City leaders announced on Monday that the Parks Bureau and the school district have committed to replacing the turf field in time for fall sports in 2024. They promised to work together to develop cost estimates and a plan to pay for the replacement. They did not say where they’ll find that money.

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