While the reconstruction of Issaquah High School gets fully underway this fall, athletics will no doubt feel the impact.
But when the bulldozers and cranes start rolling in, Issaquah athletic director Michael Bailey said the transition should go smoothly.
“Nothing will be left out, everything will be put in,” he said. “It’s going to be fine in the end, and I think everybody will find that out once it gets going.”
In the fall, varsity football will feel the largest impact. Issaquah will play all its home games at Mount Si High School. Issaquah Stadium will still be available for practices, junior varsity and C team games and smaller team sports, but will not be able to handle the estimated 1,500 to 2,000 fans a varsity football game would draw.
“It has to do with the parking and the ability to access the stadium,” Bailey said, noting fans would be forced to park along the street and walk significant distances.
He also noted that the makeshift locker rooms created in the bay area would not provide enough space for the football teams at halftime.
Finding a temporary stadium wasn’t difficult, however. Mount Si was quick to offer its facilities to Issaquah, which provided a home for the Wildcats when they underwent a recent rebuild.
“When this issue first came to light, they were the first to say ‘Come on up,’” Bailey said.
Bailey said Issaquah opted to go with Mount Si, instead of Skyline because fans are offered a covered stadium. Because of the 12-mile drive, the school is arranging free bus service to provide transportation to underclassmen who might otherwise be unable to get to the games.
Other fall sports will not be significantly impacted. Girls soccer will still play its games on the campus, while the volleyball team will play its matches at the Pacific Cascade Freshman campus. Boys tennis will play all its matches at home until the courts are demolished. There is hope they will be able to finish the season at IHS, but if not, they will play at Tibbitts Park tennis courts. Boys golf, cross country and girls swimming all compete at off-site locations and will not be impacted.
The largest changes at Issaquah High will come in the winter.
“We will have absolutely no indoor facilities,” Bailey said.
Schedules and locations have not yet been finalized, but varsity and junior varsity basketball games are expected to be played at Pacific Cascade Freshman Campus, which seats approximately 600. The C team will play at various middle school sites. Wrestling will also take place at PCFC, with limited home matches, while gymnastics will be at an off-site location.
Spring sports will see minimal impact. There are no home track meets scheduled and girls tennis will play at Tibbitts Park. Baseball and softball field are not expected to be impacted.
For more information about the construction project or sports schedules, visit www.ihs.issaquah.wednet.edu.
Kevin Endejan can be reached at 425-391-0363 or firstname.lastname@example.org