Arcata

Arcata student chronicles progress of new sports facility

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By Ray Hamill — With construction on the new Arcata High sports fields now under way, one student athlete has found a way to keep the community updated.

Junior Nick Parker, who plays baseball for the Tigers, has taken a particular interest in the project and has set up three social media pages to record the day-to-day progress.

“When it first started, the first thing I thought is that we have a whole community that will want to follow it and keep up with it,” Parker said. “So I set up a couple of media accounts.”

Parker has been taking photos at the site every day, as well as recording drone video footage, and has been updating his three social media pages almost daily.

You can follow Parker’s coverage and the project through his Twitter or Instagram or Facebook pages.

“Nick Parker has really given people something to enjoy, and in the middle of this pandemic it’s a bright spot,” Northern Humboldt Union High School District Superintendent Roger Macdonald said.

Construction got under way this summer and is expected to be completed in November.

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The new facility will feature a baseball field, batting cages, a storage and concession building, a parking lot for 38 cars, as well as a state-of-the-art track built around a soccer field and a practice area for football.

The baseball field can also be used as a practice facility for various sports, and while it is small Macdonald expects the Tigers to play some home games there while still playing some at the picturesque Arcata Ball Park.

The Arcata football team will continue to play games at the Redwood Bowl.

Most important, the facility will have “state of the art” drainage on a field that was notorious for being water-logged every year.

“I’m really excited about it because we’ve been playing on pretty much a swamp,” Parker said. “It will definitely be an improvement.”

Danco is undertaking the construction of the new facility

“The main thing they’ve done so far is leveling it all out, and right now they’ve just started construction on the concession stand,” Parker said earlier this week. 

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Photo by Nick Parker

The Arcata junior, who admits he has a personal interest in the progress, says it has been a fun project to chronicle.

“I want to know what’s going on too, because we’re going to be playing there,” he said. “It’s been a great experience for me.”

The project was somewhat controversial during the planning process, which included a lot of debate on which direction to take the $8 million new facility.

“I’m impressed with how the community came together last spring,” Macdonald said.

The new facility follows closely on the upgrades to the McKinleyville High sports facilities last year, which included new tennis courts, better drainage for the football field, a new track and renovations to the parking lot, boys locker room, weight room and wrestling room.

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