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West Field High School aims to debut outdoor facilities, fieldhouse on Aug. 1

Longhorns teams, athletes ‘piecing together’ places to hold workouts

By CONNER BECKER - Standard-Examiner | May 30, 2024

Photo supplied, Weber School District

This spring 2024 photo shows the campus of West Field High School in Taylor looking toward the southeast. A two-level fieldhouse (black) sits between the football and baseball/softball facilities.

You'll soon be able to smell the turf at West Field High as Weber County prepares to welcome its first new high school since Fremont opened its doors in 1994.

The outdoor fields and multi-use fieldhouse at the new school in the western Weber County locale of Taylor are set to become available on Aug. 1 for an expected 1,200 incoming students, with nearly 80% transferring from Fremont this fall, Weber School District officials told the Standard-Examiner.

Still, the first two weeks of West Field's inaugural football season will be on the road to allow extra time for finishing the outdoor field, if needed. A schedule the school posted to Instagram shows the Longhorns at Layton on Aug. 16, playing Richfield at Weber State on Aug. 23, then hosting the home opener on Aug. 30 against Salem Hills.

"We're trying to find a way to balance that," Lane Findlay, district spokesman, said about the football stadium's timeline. "The problem with new schools is you can't really start occupying it until everything's done."

As for the fieldhouse, the district expects West Field's new two-level facility to accommodate multiple sports and other schools this winter. The indoor practice facility, the first of its kind within the district, can host baseball, soccer, softball, track and field, weightlifting and more.

West Field SE overhead view 053024 01

Photo supplied, Weber School District

This spring 2024 photo shows an overhead view of West Field High School's football stadium in Taylor looking to the southeast. The team's inaugural season will open its first two weeks on the road to allow extra time for the stadium's completion if not finished on Aug. 1.

The main level houses a 40-yard scrimmage field, a two-lane track, golf netting, home and away locker rooms, and two concessions windows lining the building's outer walls. The upper level features an event space overlooking the football field, additional practice space and equipment storage.

Expecting his ship to be up and running come Aug. 1, West Field athletic director Mike Russell is confident the school's contractor, Hogan and Associates, will have each facility ready before the Longhorns' girls soccer team kicks off the fall sports schedule.

"We had a meeting last week right before school let out and they've assured us that we will be on our turf field for our first game," Russell said. "Worst-case scenario, we just flip that to our opponent's site, but obviously with practices that can get a lot more tricky."

Russell is one of few administrators permitted on school grounds during the lengthy construction process.

The former Syracuse boys hoops coach holds West Field's first-year coaching staff -- which inched closer to completion with Clayne Garrett named as head baseball coach Wednesday -- in high regard for navigating spring and summer practices without a proper home.

"Our coaches have been great about taking the initiative and finding places to go," Russell said. "It's not been easy, but it's worked."

Most summer practices are currently split between Roy High and Rocky Mountain Junior High.

"They're laying turf as we speak," said Matt Williams, the district's athletics coordinator. "Our other schools in the district have been great to help wherever needed because we'll have soccer, cheer, drill and things that'll go throughout the summer. We're piecing together everything that we can."

An open house for West Field's new school building and adjacent athletics facilities is slated for early August before the first day of classes.

Connect with prep sports reporter Conner Becker via email at cbecker@standard.net and X @ctbecker.

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