Pima Co. publishes assessment of Tucson High field damage - Tucson News Now

Pima Co. publishes assessment of Tucson High field damage

Tucson High Magnet School football field. (Source: Tucson News Now) Tucson High Magnet School football field. (Source: Tucson News Now)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The Tucson Unified School District could not say when the Tucson High football field would be re-opened, after flooding damaged the turf.

According to a memo from Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry, county officials have completed their assessment of the field, after the Regional Flood Control District (RFCD) reviewed the damage.

"RCFD Staff visited the site and observed that the grates near the football stadium were covered with debris that may have washed in from the street flooding from the neighborhood to the north," the memo stated.

Huckelberry, in the memo, also stated that the field's artificial turf provided "very little infiltration capacity for this extreme rainfall event."

Monsoon storms dumped a massive amount of rain in the 4th Avenue area, that flowed down into the nearby area of Tucson High Magnet School, and onto the school grounds.

In a written response to the memo, Tucson Unified's Director of Communications Stefanie Boe told Tucson News Now that the district is, "taking a look at [Mr. Huckelberry's] assessment of what happened along with conducting our own inquiry into the cause. At the same time, we’re making our assessments of field conditions with our insurer."

No school activities have been able to be held on the turf field, including football practice. Tucson High's first football game is August 18, while the team's first home game is scheduled for August 25.

Boe stated that Tucson High’s football teams are, "practicing at nearby Cherry Field and getting ready for the upcoming season."

When asked when the field would be able to be played on again, and if the turf field was in

need of a full replacement, Boe said they hope to know more next week, and that she could not provide an answer to those questions at this time.

Tucson High's football coach, Justin Argraves, told Tucson News Now that there is no word yet on where the team's home games will be played, and that "everything is still up air."

"The closure of the field is out of an abundance of caution while we conduct our investigation and work with local officials and our insurer on next steps," Boe said in a statement. "We will not re-open the field until we are certain it’s safe for our students, staff, and visitors."

Despite the damage, Huckelberry wrote that Pima County's recent Arroyo Chico flood control improvements "operated effectively," according to the memo.

"The former grate over the Arroyo Chico underground storm drain was significantly expanded in our flood control project from a 24-inch diameter grate inlet to one that now measures 10-feet by 21-feet," Huckelberry said in the memo. "The balance of the storm drains of this flood control project operated effectively and significantly reduced the flood damage and/or inundation that could have occurred on the football stadium field."

Boe said the district does not yet have a timeline for when the field will be repaired.

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