McKay officially breaks ground on new artificial turf field

24 May 2017

It was a big day in McKay’s journey to build its own artificial turf field. In a ceremony at the school’s football stadium, the Royal Scots officially broke ground on the project, with the goal of completing it by the start of the fall season.

“I’m feeling a lot of emotions, but excitement and pride for these students are probably at the top of it,” said Becky Bryant, McKay’s booster club president. “Not to mention being grateful for all the people who have come together to make this happen. It’s an exciting day.”

McKay is planning to have a ribbon-cutting event at noon Aug. 19, during the school’s Green and Gold Day.

“I think getting to watch the kids on our Green and Gold Day and ribbon-cutting, that will be an amazing thing,” Bryant said. “I’m just grateful to everybody.”

Once the project is completed, McKay will join the other five Salem-Keizer public high schools in having an artificial field.

“We’re all just really excited because we’ve never had anything this nice here before. It’s really nice to have something new here,” McKay girls soccer player Jackie Macias said. “When it gets really muddy, it’s not going to be as muddy anymore. Everybody’s really excited.” McKay football player Ryan Bangs agreed.

“I’m excited along with the rest of the students here,” he said. “It just means a lot to the community. The booster club has really stepped up and had our backs.” McKay football coach Josh Riddell said he is excited about the opportunity to play on a new field.

“It’s an awesome deal. It’s going to mean a lot. It’s tough to get things done when you’re in puddles all day,” Riddell said. “Every day, there’s a kid or two asking me about the turf field, and I’m with them. I’m excited to see this happen. This is a sweet deal, and we just appreciate everybody making it happen.”

It has been a long process for McKay to get to this point, especially considering that the school was without a booster clubs from 2010 to 2015.

“It’s a revitalization of the McKay community,” Bryant said. “And so, we’re proud to be a part of that, and we cannot wait to open this field to our entire community.”

As students gathered for a photo opportunity Tuesday at the football field, Bryant said she’s proud of the McKay community.

“They mean everything to me. Usually what brings me to tears is having these kids so happy to watch people invest in them,” Bryant said. “I also believe it’s a great teaching moment. They see people investing in them, and in the future, they’ll invest in the next generation.”