Next year, instead of playing their home games in Petaluma like they did this season, the Sonoma Valley High soccer Dragons will at least have a home field, as will the Lady Dragon soccer team which moves to a winter season next year.

The proposed all-weather field in back of Adele Harrison Middle School is closer to being a reality as the Division of the State Architect, DSA, has approved the plans earlier than expected.

The $2.15 million project is expected to go out to bid in March and April with construction expected to start sometime in June. And the field is expected to be finished mid-October.

At Tuesday’s school board meeting, Steve Kwok, the district’s architect, said the field will be striped for high school soccer, lacrosse and two youth soccer fields. The site will be fenced and there will be electrical conduit for future connection. Lights are not part of the project. And there will also be a three-lane asphalt running path around the field.

Kwok said the infill will be cork as opposed to rubber pellets, TPE, which is a mix of polymers, or other infill material.

Bill Fee, with Carducci Landscape, told the board that TPE is a good material – but it’s more expensive than cork. “Cork is a value infill,” he said. “Cork is usually used by high schools and middle schools. And cork is consistent.”

He said at a field in the Los Angeles area, some TPE from China melted.

“The cork at Emeryville weathered the storms this winter,” he said. He also said that cork hasn’t been around too long, so there’s no history on how long it’ll last. But he said the manufacturer offers an eight-year guarantee, and thought that the district could get 10 years before it has to replace the cork.

Some school board members wondered if the district should also build restrooms at the same time, but Kwok said it would add several hundred thousand dollars to the project – and that restrooms could be added at any time.

Kwok said that Analy High in Sebastopol, El Molino High in Forestville and Casa Grande High in Petaluma all have cork infill in their new all-weather fields, and Petaluma High and Maria Carrillo High in Santa Rosa have all-weather fields in design. He said Petaluma has picked cork for its infill, while Maria Carrillo isn’t that far along in the process.