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LCHS football field gets drainage upgrade after rains gang up on gridiron

LCHS football field gets drainage upgrade after rains gang up on gridiron
Dump trucks and heavy machinery remove loads of rock from the drainage area of the football field at La Cañada High School on June 7. The field's drainage system is being upgraded to allow for more rainwater capture. (Raul Roa / La Cañada Valley Sun)

Now that classes have let out for summer, the real work at La Cañada High School can begin.

Construction crews have been busy excavating portions of the LCHS football field to repair the artificial turf’s draining system, which officials say was adequate during drought years but not robust enough to accommodate two years of wet weather.

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Mark Evans, La Cañada Unified School District’s assistant superintendent of business and administrative services, said the effects of accumulated water were becoming noticeable on the surface.

“It wasn’t draining fast enough when we had those torrents,” he said of the system. “There was standing water and it was causing a kind of wrinkling effect on the field.”

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Typically, rainwater percolated through the turf into a small grid of pipes underneath. Water filtered through that grid into two larger sideline drains that fed a main trunk line north of the field. From there, excess water emptied into area storm drains.

Excavation will allow for replacement of the sideline conduits with larger pipes that will drain to both the north and south when the field experiences higher than average rainfall.

In its June 5 meeting, the La Cañada Unified School District Governing Board approved a $185,000 contract with Signal Hill-based Asphalt, Fabric & Engineering, Inc. to complete the work before school starts in August.

“It’s going to go on for most of the summer, but we’ll be done before school starts,” Evans said, adding that some field use by soccer groups and football team practice will be relocated to nearby fields in the interim.

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