Former Copper King designed designed the new field, track

CALUMET — Former Copper King Emmett Bjorn was a very versatile football player in high school. A running quarterback in his senior year, he averaged 100 yards passing, and 83.5 yards rushing per game.

Bjorn is back at Agassiz Field, but not as an athlete. Rather, he is the engineer who designed the field and track improvements with UP Architects and Engineers (UPA). Bjorn worked closely with UPA colleague Ryan Patrick, another Calumet High School graduate, who designed the field’s drainage system.

Bjorn said it is an exciting job to be part of.

“It’s been a little over 10 years since I graduated from Calumet, but everyone enjoyed playing on Agassiz Field,” Bjorn said. “It was just its time for improvements. Sean Jacques, the athletic director, said it’s been more than 30 years since anything was done here.”

The track was deteriorating, Bjorn said, as was the field, which had an uphill slope, and could only be used two days per week due to its condition.

After every rain, said Bjorn,there was a large water collection directly in front of the locker room building, which took two to three days to drain. He said rain would accumulate on the field from the surrounding three-block area. Spring snowmelt was also a major problem as a result of residents along Elm Street plowing snow, which when melting in the spring, ran downhill, toward the athletic complex.

Calumet-Laurium-Keweenaw Schools Superintendent Christopher Davidson said, in late June, that the completion date for Agassiz Field is Aug. 28, in time for the Copper Kings’ first home game, and so far everything remains on schedule and on budget.