The Inquirer

Viking Field’s upgrade is met with much anticipation

Construction+workers+prepare+the+subsurface+for+the+new+turf+on+Viking+Field%2C+Diablo+Valley+College+in+Pleasant+Hill%2C+on+Monday%2C+Jan.+29.
Construction workers prepare the subsurface for the new turf on Viking Field, Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, on Monday, Jan. 29.

Construction workers prepare the subsurface for the new turf on Viking Field, Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, on Monday, Jan. 29.

Lauren Thomas

Lauren Thomas

Construction workers prepare the subsurface for the new turf on Viking Field, Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, on Monday, Jan. 29.

Lauren Thomas, Staff member

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Construction is nearing completion for Diablo Valley College’s new turf on Viking Field.

Equipped with a new logo, increased durability and eco-friendly material, the new and improved field is on target for its projected completion date of Feb. 18.

The project broke ground the first week of January, tearing up a worn field that had seen a decade of play. According to DVC athletic director Christine Worsley, the previous field has past its prime, with UV rays as the biggest culprit of its deterioration .

“It’s night and day in terms of the technology of the fiber that’s on there, so it will be a better field than what we’ve had,” said Worsley.

Along with more durable fibers, the field is being upgraded to a cork particle fill rather than its previous rubber particle fill. Worsley explains the controversy over the standard issue rubber fill at the time of the previous field’s construction. The rubber particles were made of recycled tires containing levels of carcinogens. Not only carcinogen-free, the new cork material is an organic substance with less environmental impact.

According to DVC vice president of business and administrative services, John Nahlen, the project is being funded with local DVC scheduled maintenance funds. The project is budgeted at $725,000, though Nahlen believes it may come to a bit less than that due to the subsurface being in better condition than they had anticipated.

Provided by John Nahlen
Construction company, FieldTurf’s, design for Viking Field on the Diablo Valley College Pleasant Hill campus. Edited for accurate representation.

Nahlen explains that the field will be receiving biannual maintenance, whereas the previous field’s contract had no such stipulation.

Closed since mid-December, the reopening of the field is under much anticipation. The construction has forced the relocation of a number of sports teams and classes. The track and field team is among the most affected.

“Unfortunately, there’s always a casualty of these kinds of situations and it turns out that it’s the track and field team,” said track and field head coach Kyle Whitmore.

The team is gracious to College Park High School for allowing them to share their practice space. However, space is limited as it’s shared between four soccer teams, a lacrosse team and College Park’s track and field team of about 100 athletes. This leaves DVC’s track and field team with the three outermost lanes.

“Me and my coaching staff, we just have to take a different approach to our training. We have to be a little bit more patient. And we’re hopeful that we’ll actually benefit in the end,” Whitmore said.

Though the conditions are less than ideal, the team remains optimistic.

“We work with what we have and everyone’s trying their hardest to remain supportive of each other because workouts can be really intense and hard especially when we don’t have the right resources to be practicing on,” said distance athlete Ella Hymel.

“We’re so excited to start seeing upgrades in this area for students,” said Worsley, as the field is one of several upgrades. Last year, Viking Field received new LED lights and a repainted track.

“There’s a lot of interest by community groups and by high school athletic championships to come in and use the facility now that they’re seeing all the upgrades, which is great,” said Worsley.

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Viking Field’s upgrade is met with much anticipation