The field at Eastern Oregon University’s Community Stadium may soon be almost weatherproof.

EOU is preparing to launch a drive to raise $1.5 million for the purchase and installation of synthetic turf at Community Stadium, the site of Mountaineer and La Grande High School home football games. Preliminary plans for the project were presented to the La Grande School District’s budget committee by EOU President Tom Insko and Athletic Director Anji Weissenfluh on Wednesday. Insko asked the school district to consider contributing between $250,000 and $300,000 for the synthetic turf project.

“Collectively, we can create something special,” Insko told the budget committee.

Weissenfluh said that replacing the grass field with artificial turf would dramatically expand how Community Stadium can be used. Presently the field is used for only 10 or 12 home EOU and La Grande High School football games a year plus contests like the Oregon Eight-Man All-Star Football Game in June.

Weissenfluh said that with artificial turf, the field could be used multiple times a day not only for football but also high school and college soccer games and other events.

“I envision it becoming a multiple use space,” she said. “It would maximize our flexibility.”

See complete story in Friday's Observer