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San Rafael High School Stadium / Carducci Associates Gives New Life to Marin's 80-Year-Old-Field

What began in 2008 with an anonymous donation has come to full realization in 2017: the renovation of Marin’s oldest playing field. Miller Field was constructed during the 1930s and has been improved over decades; today, it is the county’s only playing field with sports lighting. Yet the site endured persistent challenges due to resource-intensive natural turf maintenance, a lack of universal accessibility, and neighborhood sound and light pollution.

Carducci Associates led the renovation of Miller Field to resolve these issues by introducing cutting-edge athletic facility design that also serves the community as grounds for physical education, graduation, fairs, training, and performances. Additions and upgrades include: a new all-weather, 9-lane track for 3-way track meets, a synthetic turf field (comprised of a natural cork infill and a pad for player safety and drainage), a new home team grandstand, scoreboard, and visitor’s bleachers, an energy efficient, state-of-the-art LED stadium lighting and sound system, and new restrooms, concession stand, parking, and stadium entry plaza. The San Rafael City Schools Bond Program shares photos and information about the projects current status.

Many stakeholders have been involved in the eight-year process. More than two-thirds of voters approved Measure B, a $161 million bond to be spent on San Rafael City Schools. The first Measure B project is the renovation of the San Rafael High School Stadium. Parent volunteers, neighbors, athletic team boosters, teachers, district staff, coaches, and the Principal and the Athletic Director, have all contributed time, insight and fundraising to the project’s success. In our office, the project is known for its league of contributors: Principals Bill Fee and Vince Lattanzio, Senior Associates Alvin Tang and Tim Skinner, and associates Lee Streitz, Philip Dinh, Karly Behncke, Jihwan Kim and Joel Franceschi.

Synthetic turf offers a safe and level playing field, extension of the seasonal use of the field, savings in water use and maintenance costs, and elimination of noise and air pollution associated with mechanical mowers. Removing the need for chemical fertilizer and pesticide application, the high school’s neighboring San Rafael Creek and the greater San Francisco Bay will benefit from a reduction in water pollution. In collaboration with Van Pelt Construction Services and Robert A. Bothman managing the construction process, the stadium is scheduled to open in Spring 2018—ready for the community and fans of the San Rafael Bulldogs to gather for traditional Friday Night Lights football games.

Groundbreaking at Miller Field in May 2017.
Six months into construction at Miller Field, November 2017.

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