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Partners celebrate Buckman Field renovation

June 02, 2011
Buckman Field dedication
Supporters at the dedication include (from left) Elliott Hill, Carole Smith, Adin Brown, Nick Fish, Christina Friedhoff, Zari Santner, Drew Mahalic and Jeff Enquist.
With kids already playing soccer behind them, supporters formally unveiled a $2.3 million renovation of Buckman Field, adjacent to Benson High School.
"All of us in the Benson community have been anticipating this moment," said Benson Principal Steve Olczak at the June 1 dedication.

The $2.3 million in improvements to the city-owned Buckman Field include all-weather synthetic turf and better lighting. One playing area is designed primarily for football, baseball and softball, and another for soccer and lacrosse.

Benson students will use the field, but because bleachers weren't included in the renovation, Benson will use the playing areas mostly for practice.

Also using the public field will be St. Mary’s Academy students and members of the Portland City United Soccer Club. Both helped pay for the project. In addition, the city of Portland, Nike and Portland Public Schools provided funds.

"Our vision is to have this happen at fields across the city," said Superintendent Carole Smith about the renovation.

With the project complete, Benson is one of three PPS high schools to have year-round, safe playing fields. Cleveland and Roosevelt high schools completed field projects in 2008 and 2010, respectively, while Friends of Grant High School is actively raising money for artificial turf.

Lincoln's turf field — used all day long by students, other schools and neighbors — is worn and in need of upgrading.

Chapman Elementary School has gathered $215,000 for a new $250,000 turf field. Ainsworth Elementary School installed a turf field in 2009.

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