South Fork Union School District improves fields

Photos and story by Catherine Stachowiak

Wednesday, May 15, the Kern Valley Sun overheard a discussion, during the Color Run at South Fork Middle School, regarding several upcoming improvements to the campus fields. 

Justin Holland director of maintenance operation and transportation for both South Fork Elementary and South Fork Middle School already began implementing some of the changes. “It’s been almost a little over two weeks now,” he told the Kern Valley Sun. 

To begin with, the orange flag studded lawn was a source of attention that day.  Holland told an associate that nutrients have been added to the lawn.  The team involved with the project hydro seeded the lawn, so they mixed everything, the fertilizer and compost into a big hopper with water, and they watered the lawn about four times per day.  “We pushed it, to try to get it done as soon as possible, because we had the winds.”  He said, “I’ll probably have to go through and hand seed a lot.” 

According to Holland, ultimately there will be a softball field and a baseball field with a backstop, and then a soccer field with a five-lane track around it.  Holland said, “About October, they’ll be able to go play on it.”  

The plans also include areas for sitting and watching the games and a walkway going down to the area.

“I’ve been here a lot of weekends.  The day before we planted it, I had unions breaking out here on the sprinklers. So I had flooding out here. I was out here Saturday and Sunday for like eight, nine hours a day, fixing those.  And then we got it planted. And then the first week I had another one break down,” he said. “You can imagine how I felt when I first started seeing the first blades of grass pop up.”  

Holland thinks that the grass would probably be better established in another five months.  

Teacher at South Fork Elementary School, Annette Thomey recently told the Exchange Club that the new Superintendent of South Fork Union School District, Dr Richard Rhodes has managed to accomplish more for the district; in the eight months he’s been with the district, than the district had done in the last 24 years.  “Come look at our fields. It’s amazing,” she said.

Justin Holland director of MOT for South Fork Elementary and South Fork Middle School