A new artificial turf field could soon become a reality at McKay High School.
After raising about $300,000 so far, McKay booster club president Becky Bryant said they are on track to having the new field installed and ready to go by the beginning of the upcoming fall season.
“We now have $300,000 committed, absolutely committed, to this project, and we are working with many other community members for big and small donations,” Bryant said. “And so we are sticking to working with these people to get our donations to have this field completed and ready to play for fall soccer and football.”
McKay is the only one of the six Salem-Keizer high schools currently without an artificial turf field.
They still has some fundraising to do, and Bryant is confident that it will get done.
“We really need donations, and there is no donation that is too big or too small,” Bryant said. “A $5 donation all the way up to a $100,000 donation, it’s all the same. It’s all about our kids and our community, and we’re hoping that everybody can reach out and do whatever they can do to help us make this happen.
“If I look at the whole numbers, we need about $600,000, and we are working on that,” Bryant added. “But that’s going to be both in-kind and cash. We are committed to this project, and we know this project will happen. We believe in this community. We just really need people to try to help because it’s going to take their help financially or by in-kind to make it happen.”
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As for the timeline, McKay expects to break ground late this spring, and the hope is to have it done in August.
“We are looking to break ground at the end of May,” Bryant said. “And we will have our ribbon-cutting kickoff on Aug. 19 at our second annual Green and Gold Day, and we’re very excited and we’ll be putting announcements out.”
Bryant said that she has enjoyed working on this project and she’s pleased with the support she has received from not only the McKay community, but the Salem community overall.
“The business community has really stepped up, and some actual people who are not from the McKay area believe that there is enough importance to this project to benefit the entire Northeast area that they want to see it happen,” Bryant said.
McKay athletic director Jerimy Kelley said he is thankful for the support.
“I think it’s amazing. We’ve received a lot of support from around the community, and not just the McKay community, but all around Salem, the other high schools have supported us,” Kelley said. “I think the turf going in is going to be amazing for our community and for our kids. It’s going to turn McKay into more of a community center than it already is. It’s going to be used all the time.”
Bryant said she is really excited for the McKay student-athletes.
“The kids are so excited,” Bryant said. “Having people invest their time in these kids is showing how important they are.”