Mira Costa's $5 million multipurpose field nears completion

12 May 2017

Athletes at Mira Costa will soon trade the scruffy grass on the lot at Meadows Avenue for a full-length practice field complete with yard-line markers and artificial turf.

The $5 million project on the west side of campus is funded by Manhattan Beach Unified School District and the MB/X Foundation.

Construction started in early November 2016 and is scheduled to be completed by late August. The Meadows Avenue Field project will be an asset for students, Superintendent Mike Matthews said.

“One of the big things we’re trying to do since the very beginning is to provide full-length practice fields for all our teams,” Matthews said. “By creating this very big field it means that all of our teams our varsity teams, our junior varsity teams, can have field space at a reasonable hour.”

Currently, due to the lack of fields, some teams, such as lacrosse and rugby, practice late into the evening, said MB/X Foundation President Gary Wayland.

“By providing this new field, it will enable all the sports to use it and to practice and to play games when students should really be playing games and practicing, which is up until 6 o'clock every day,” Wayland said.

The practice field has been in the works for nearly nine years. MB/X board of trustees suggested the foundation explore the idea in 2008. Starting in 2009, there were a series of meetings with stakeholders, members of various Costa booster clubs, coaches, school board members, administrators, parents and community members.

“The field would provide space for football and soccer," said Wayland." but it would also provide space for new programs, like lacrosse and rugby that are new to Costa and we really don’t have the space to accommodate.”

The Meadows Avenue Field will be 305 feet wide by 492 feet long, Wayland said. Costa football, soccer, rugby, lacrosse and marching band will be able to use the multipurpose field. In addition, youth sports groups, like AYSO, will also be able to use the field.

The project also includes adding turf to the baseball field in the southwest corner of the lot. The field will likely be used as a practice field for freshman baseball and softball.

Construction of the Meadows Avenue Field was broken down into two projects: one funded by MBUSD and the other by MB/X.

MBUSD’s project, which cost about $3 million, consisted of constructing a fire road, retaining walls and infrastructure around the field. MB/X’s project, which is set to begin May 15, involves the installation of a drainage underneath the field, an aggregate base, the shock pad below the field and turf. This portion of the project is covered by a $2 million donation from MB/X.

The turf being installed is made from an organic material, according to Johnnie Morgan with Coastline Construction Management.

“These turfs in the past had been picked on a lot because they used to use ground up rubber from old tires,” Morgan explained. “So there’s been a lot of discussion over the years about if those kind of turfs lead to cancer so the organic material that we choose is more eco-friendly, and actually allows the field to be cooler because it doesn’t absorb as much heat.”

Wayland said he’s looking forward to the field’s completion.

“It’s been something that I’ve worked on for a number of years and I’m very proud of it,” Wayland said. “I think it will allow a lot of the kids and a lot of the adults to do a lot of playing on that field for a number of years.”