06-13-2010 04:44 PM

When Michael Roos and his wife, Katherine, first pledged $500,000 to jump start Eastern Washington University’s Red Turf Project, they expected the process of replacing Woodward Field’s grass playing surface to evolve in a timely fashion.

But after taking part in Saturday’s “turf-breaking” ceremonies at his former home field in Cheney, Michael Roos admitted he was stunned by the project’s accelerated timetable.

“When you make the kind of monetary commitment, you hope and expect that it will eventually come together and that you’ve generated enough momentum to get everybody else on board,” Roos said after joining university president Rodolfo Arévalo and Rob Nelson, the vice chairman of EWU’s Foundation Board of Directors, in excavating the first three shovelfuls of grass from Woodward’s existing playing surface.

“But I’m amazed at how much money they’ve managed to raise in a matter of six months,” Roos said. “And I’m hoping it will keep going and we’ll be able to get the new scoreboard, too.”

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