Kennison Design Committee

On May 14, 2012, the Hermiston School District Board of Education chose to disallow district and community use of the bleachers at Kennison Field/Bulldog Football Stadium effective immediately. This decision followed a detailed report by representatives from Fishel CM and Landmark Landscape Architects.

At the request of the Board of Education during its April Board Work Session, Smith consulted with Fishel CM to provide a thorough review of the Kennison Field bleachers, as well as attempt to isolate the cause of significant cracking and separation occurring throughout the all-weather track. Landmark, from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, as well as Anderson-Perry Engineering from La Grande, Oregon, performed thorough on-site and soils inspections, which provided the basis for the report presented to the Board.

The report highlighted significant safety and code concerns with respect to the bleacher system. Jonathan Mueller, Senior Landscape Architect, who was present at the meeting, noted the following in his report, “Of all the site components, the bleachers surprised us the most. This is because given the current status of code related to stadium seating, there are no aspects of this current set of bleachers that appear to be compliant with today’s standards. These represent the greatest threat to the health, safety, and welfare of the public of all the components we reviewed.”

Following review of the seating deficiencies, Mueller informed the Board of Education and administration that the twenty-year-old track is failing. The architect’s report, which included a detailed analysis of the structural component of the track facility by Anderson-Perry, states “[it] is quite evident that the track is at the end of its useful life and that replacement is the only option to correcting the existing condition.” Pictures displayed to the Board of the 35 or more significant cracks, which continue to separate and worsen, reinforce the status of a failing track foundation.

To help facilitate a broad level of input towards design aspects related to the replacement of the Kennison complex, on June 5 Hermiston School District Interim Superintendent Wade Smith announced the membership makeup of the Kennison Field Renovation Committee.

Comprised of 12 district and community stakeholders, the committee is charged with assisting the district during the input and design process for the proposed renovation of Kennison Field. During its May meeting, the HSD Board of Education approved Interim Smith’s 12 month input-design-build renovation schedule, as a result of the deteriorating track facility and bleacher safety concerns.

The committee will meet consistently over the next five months to assist in the design and layout of the renovated complex. The proposed schedule, as presented by Smith, has the committee achieving milestones in October and mid-November for schematic design and construction document stages, respectively. Construction is planned to begin around January, 2013, and is set to be complete prior to the 2013 football season.

Committee Members include:

  • Wade Smith (Interim Superintendent)
  • Greg Harris (representing the Board of Education)
  • Dr. Dave Drotzmann (representing the Hermiston Sports Boosters)
  • Dennis Barnett (representing the Hermiston Linebacker’s Club)
  • Mike Kay (Director of Athletics and Support Services)
  • Mark Hodges (varsity football coach)
  • Rich Harshberger (representing the varsity soccer program)
  • Brandt Lind (representing the varsity track program)
  • Jocelyn Jones (Hermiston High School Principal)
  • Larry Fetter (Hermiston Parks and Recreation Manager)
  • Erick Olson (community member)
  • Kirby Warner (representing the high school physical education program)