There’ll be a new look to the playing surface at Corsair Field next season.Work was scheduled to begin Wednesday, June 11, on the installation of artificial turf, a project in the works since the passage of Bond Measure S in 2005 created the funding.The football field, which has consisted of natural grass through all the years, will be torn up. Installing FieldTurf, the school’s choice for a new surface, is expected to take three-to-four months. FieldTurf is an industry leader. The University of Illinois will also install FieldTurf in its stadium for the 2008 football season.September 1 is the target date for completion at SMC, but since these projects sometimes run behind schedule so both the SMC and Santa Monica High football teams will play their September games on the road.Following three away games, SMC is scheduled to play LA Valley in its home opener.Palisades High also installed artificial turf last season and several projected home games, including one against Samohi, had to be played elsewhere. The Dolphins finally played at home late in the season.The SMC women’s soccer team, which has played elsewhere in the past because the football field didn’t meet NCAA requirements for that sport, will be able to play its home games on the new surface.“Our football coach, Robert Taylor, is excited. Our women’s soccer coach is excited too,” said SMC athletic director Rhonda Hyatt.Turf fields around the country are known to favor speed. And, of course, a muddy field isn’t likely anymore.Some recent Corsair Field football games have been played in difficult conditions, most notably a Venice High victory over Samohi when it seemed only one player, Venice’s Curtis McNeal, could consistently overcome the rain and mud. The project also includes new lighting, but parking beneath the football field, which was in the original plans, won’t occur. That plan was changed when additional parking for the school was included in another project.The football field work was scheduled to begin Wednesday because Corsair Field was to be the site of graduation the previous day.
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