East Oahu community leaders have been preaching it for years: Kaiser High School needs a new football field and track. Lawmakers are considering a measure that could make it happen.
If you build, they will come. And there are many who believe building it… is long overdue.
“I had the NFL come out and guy who does all the fields for the Super Bowl as well as the playoffs the Pro Bowl he inspects all the fields,” Kaiser High School Football Head Coach Rich Miano said. “As soon he walked out on the field he said this is safety issue, there’s no way we can host our international combines here we’ll try to help you folks but we need to fix this field.”
The video doesn’t lie. Kaiser High School’s football field and eight-lane track are in desperate need of a face-lift.
The last time the track was resurfaced was in 1997. The football field is showing even more wear and tear.
“When it’s muddy and kids are slipping left and right and parents are out there worrying about their child getting hurt, whether they blow a knee out or sometimes when it rains and dries it comes like a hard solid concrete surface and they fall and hit their head. We have enough concussions as it is in football,” strength and conditioning coach Chad Ikei said.
Coaches have also seen broken arms, torn ligaments, and nasty sprains.
“I agree with him. This is a safety hazard, we need to fix the field. We don’t need any of our athletes to risk unintended injuries and the simple fix is the field. The hard fix is getting the money for it,” Rep. John Mizuno said.
The cost of a new synthetic turf, similar to the one installed at Roosevelt High School several years ago, as well as a new track, is estimated at $5.1 million.
A new turf would conserve water usage and maintenance costs would be lower.
Lawmakers are considering a measure that would provide the funds for the Capital Improvement Project that would serve more than Kaiser High School.
“No it’s bigger then that. This would be the home field for Kalani High School as well as Kaimuki High School and Anuenue,” Rep. Mizuno said. “It is the right investment because it’s an investment for our public schools, it’s an investment to our communities and to our students athletes, so I support it completely.”
Kaiser also hosts high school playoff games, soccer matches, and youth soccer and flag football leagues.
“A human body is a human body. Doesn’t matter if you’re making millions of dollars or you’re a backup player on the high school football team, you’re someone’s child, you’re someone’s relative. The last thing you want to do is see someone get hurt,” Ikei said.