Upgrade moves forward for Harmony soccer fields

Local club will sell bonds to finance project

By Paul Danzer, Columbian community sports reporter

Published:

 
photoWashington Timbers general manager Eli Ulvi

Washington Timbers FC is moving ahead with improvements to the Harmony Sports Complex.

The youth soccer club recently purchased 180,000 square feet of artificial turf, to be used to turn two fields at the complex from grass to a synthetic surface. The club is working to finance installation so that construction can begin in the spring, according to Washington Timbers general manager Eli Ulvi.

The turf was available at a discount because of delays in a Portland Timbers project to install turf fields at Delta Park in north Portland, according to Ulvi. The club has an option to buy at the same price synthetic turf for a third field, Ulvi said.

The Washington State Housing Finance Commission has approved the club to sell tax-exempt bonds to help finance the project, Ulvi said.

The club is trying to raise $300,000 to help with the field upgrades at Harmony Complex. In addition to the synthetic turf, the club plans to add lights to the fields. The turf and lighting projects will significantly extend the amount of time fields at Harmony are available, Ulvi said.

Washington Timbers FC is seeking sponsors as part of its effort to raise funds to install the turf, Ulvi said.

Ulvi was hired earlier this year as the first general manager for the club. A native of Alaska, Ulvi previously worked for the Timbers-affiliated club in Bend, Ore.

Washington Timbers FC is one of six Portland Timbers Alliance youth soccer clubs. Through mergers in recent years, including the 2012 merger between the Vancouver United and Camas-Washougal clubs, Washington Timbers serves approximately 3,000 players. About 1,000 of those players represent the club in advanced competition leagues and tournaments. The rest play recreational soccer.

Ulvi said the club plans to open an office at Harmony Sports Complex. He said having an office near the heavily-used fields is one way he hopes to foster communication and a sense of shared mission within the club.

"One of the challenges is, how do you create a community environment within a 3,000-player club with players from a lot of different backgrounds and communities?" Ulvi said.

To learn more about the project or how to purchase bonds, contact Ulvi by sending e-mail to eli.ulvi@washingtontimbers.com.