Rifle grads have to keep off the grass
RIFLE – There will be no graduation ceremony at Rifle High School this spring. That is to say, it won’t be at the high school.This year’s seniors will have to break away from tradition in order to preserve the school’s football field.The field is getting new sod just a few days before the scheduled graduation on Sunday, May 21.If the grass is going to take root and last through another long football season, the sod needs to be laid before the weather gets too hot, said Garfield School District Re-2 director of maintenance Craig Jay at the school board meeting Tuesday night.And the school’s field isn’t just getting a fresh layer of green stuff. The irrigation system is being replaced, and the drainage system will be revamped.The problem is that the new sod will be too wet and sensitive for the graduates to walk on, and if the district decided to delay laying the sod, a small wind could cause a big dust storm in the dirt field.”We’ve contacted the fairgrounds,” said RHS principal Todd Ellis. “That seems to be our only option right now.”The fairgrounds is available on Sunday, May 21, but the Rifle Rendezvous ends the day before. If the graduation is at the fairgrounds, graduates will most likely sit on the track, while their guests sit in the grandstands. But Ellis said he wasn’t sure how the event will look.”It’s harder to plan,” Ellis said. “Because we have to come up with a new plan.”Ellis wasn’t sure how much, if anything, the fairgrounds will charge the school. He said he had just contacted the fairgrounds to be sure the facility was available for graduation day.The school board approved a $97,000 project that includes new irrigation, sod and improvements for the football field at RHS as well as a new soccer field at Coal Ridge High School. Lyons Construction is donating a lot of the work to build a new soccer field at Coal Ridge. Coal Ridge has not previously had a soccer field, and this one will be a playing field with no bleachers or other amenities.”It’ll give them a place to play,” Jay said.Contact Amanda Holt Miller: 945-8515, ext. email@example.com
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