Turf wars ahead?

A petition showing support for installing artificial turf fields at all five high schools in Fayette County was in the lobby of McIntosh’s gym last Friday night during the McIntosh-Starr’s Mill basketball games. Photo/Michael Boylan.

High school sports supporters seek $3.2 million from School Board for synthetic turf at all 5 stadiums

A petition drive is underway to gauge community interest for installing synthetic turf at the large athletic fields at all five Fayette high schools.

Supporters are hoping to collect 5,000 signatures in a bid to have the estimated $3.2 million cost added to the next education sales tax program proposed by the school board, said organizer Sally Herman, a parent of two lacrosse players at McIntosh High.

The final decision on the matter rests with the Fayette County Board of Education, which is currently faced with a shortfall in the upcoming budget year of more than $6 million across the system.

School officials, Herman noted, are concerned that the project could rankle enough voters to doom the ESPLOST, which depends on the approval of county voters. The goal is to present the signatures to the school board at its Feb. 13 meeting.

Herman sees a variety of benefits to the fields, even for residents who don’t have children in high school athletics. The turf fields would help boost property values and keep Fayette County an attractive place for those moving to metro Atlanta, as other high schools in metro Atlanta have gone to artificial turf, Herman said.

Coweta County is also slated to add artificial turf to its three high school stadiums, also funded by an ESPLOST, she noted. Cobb, Forsyth, Fulton and Gwinnett high schools with turf fields had theirs funded by an ESPLOST, Herman said.

“It is imperative that Fayette County gets these turf fields to continue to be competitive with our neighbor to the west and our neighbors to the north,” Herman said.

The turf fields would only account for about 4 percent of the ESPLOST, with the rest going towards academics, Herman noted.

There was consideration given to raising the money privately, but that plan was set aside over concerns it wouldn’t be able to meet the $3.2 million goal, Herman said.

The chief athletic benefit of the fields will enable more practice and game time, as they drain quickly after (and during) a rainstorm when grass fields would be too muddy to play on, Herman said. Projections are for field use to increase from about 10,000 hours a year to 28,400, Herman said.

That’s a pretty significant benefit considering that at McIntosh during the rainy spring season, some JV games have not been rescheduled because there isn’t enough field time available, Herman said.

The additional field time would also be helpful for local recreation programs, she added.

While each field will cost about $600,000 to install, they will only cost about $7,000 a year to maintain, compared to $28,500 a year for a grass field, Herman said.

Broken down over 10 years, including installation, the total cost for a grass field is $480,000 and the total cost for a synthetic turf field is $670,000, she noted.

Volunteers have been around the county seeking signatures, but the effort is challenging because of the holidays and also a lack of a centralized location to approach a large number of people, Herman said.

“We are not able, obviously, to get ahold of everybody for this petition,” Herman said. “We’d love to but it’s just not possible.”

In addition to having volunteers all over the county seeking signatures for petitions, the effort also has a page on Facebook where residents are encouraged to post their comments about the concept whether they are for or against the project.

“We want to hear the naysayers too,” Herman said. “... If people can let us know what they’re thinking, that’s going to answer our questions.”

The Facebook page can be found by typing the following phrase in the search field: “Turf fields for Fayette County georgia high schools.”

suggarfoot
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Is this a joke or something?

We don't have enough money to pay the teachers and you want what?

szh443
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The ESPLOST is for capital

The ESPLOST is for capital improvements, not for teachers' salaries/personnel.

Veritas
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Szh443 reposted "Capitol"

If you get your ESPLOST...I know you are intelligent enough to realize that esplost money can be used for text books , facilities etc  or portions thereof currently paid for from the regular budget using non- splost funds therefore freeing up some of those funds that CAN then be used to help pay personnel and prevent layoffs / furloughs . Giving time maybe to resolve or implement fiscal measures to help the budget issues and save people's jobs. ( you do realize some employees of the schools may have spouses / family just laid off by world airways and cooper lighting.....)
You can see that Right or are you saying your priorities are if it's your child's teacher or any faculty or staff member  has to be let go its still ok as long as you get artificial turf.

Robert W. Morgan
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No joke at all, sugar. Read soccer mom's quote

She said
"There was consideration given to raising the money privately, but that plan was set aside over concerns it wouldn’t be able to meet the $3.2 million goal, Herman said."

Now then, if you can't raise the money privately that means that the people who earned that money are either unable or unwilling to part with it for this particular use. That should tell you something right there, but these people don't even hesitate to get government to take that same money from the same people who didn't want to give it in the first place. Of course with government doing the taking it is called taxes and better yet - it is for the chiLdren. And of course government will be much more efficient spending that money.

szh443
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Untrue

"...if you can't raise the money privately that means that the people who earned that money are either unable or unwilling to part with it for this particular use..."

fyi - I am not a soccer mom

Veritas
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Too true

Lacrosse Mom:
R W Morgans statement only Too true for you to handle

rmoc
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Teachers pay

You know guys I would not want to teach in our schools these days. It used to be a teacher was someone who taught our children the important subjects, reading, writing and arithmetic and worked part time with children who were respectful and for the most part prepared with parental support. I graduated HS in 81 and even though we had some troublesome or unprepared kids (mainly stoners and yes, section 8 students) they still showed teachers respect. Now teachers are torn with unprepared children who never see the library and children who are ignorant and disrespectful ruining things for those who are. The problem must be with the teacher if the child can not read in 6th grade even though mom and dad would rather allow them to sit in front of the idiot box instead of making sure they did their homework and if they do not pay attention or disrupt class ..it is not my angels fault...

So many kids now are lazy and in some cases, just plain mean...I wouldn't want the job

Veritas
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.

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Veritas
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.

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Veritas
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Szh443/Ms.Herman priorities

If you get your ESPLOST...I know you are intelligent enough to realize that esplost money can be used for text books , facilities etc  or portions thereof currently paid for from the regular budget using non- splost funds therefore freeing up some of those funds that CAN then be used to help pay personnel and prevent layoffs / furloughs . Giving time maybe to resolve or implement fiscal measures to help the budget issues and save people's jobs. ( you do realize some employees of the schools may have spouses / family just laid off by world airways and cooper lighting.....)
You can see that Right or are you saying your priorities are if it's your child's teacher or any faculty or staff member  has to be let go its still ok as long as you get artificial turf.

Davids mom
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Safety?
Quote:

Artificial turf fields are hotter than natural turf fields. Here in Georgia there is already high risk for heat exhaustion/heat stroke during August football practice, even without increasing the on field temperature with artificial turf
Artificial turf can increase risk of knee, foot, and ankle injuries in athletes.

Is the monetary saving more important than the safety of our students? Why are some citizens ignoring the above?

AtHomeGym
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DMom & Heat Stroke/Exhaustion in August

Prevention of those incidents rests on the shoulders of Coaches and others who make decisions about practicing, making sure if they err, it's on the side of safety. Turf should NOT be a deciding factor.

Davids mom
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AHG

Thanks for your input. What about the injuries to students? Has a study been done about the affect of astro turf on young men and women? Just asking'. What do the coaches and parents at schools that have 'turf' say? (Actually, this should be a mute discussion - when the BOE is considering cutting teacher pay, etc.)

MYTMITE
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Ah, DM, definitely not a mute discussion--many should be heard

on this issue---possibly you meant Moot? Changes everything.

Davids mom
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Mytimite

You are absolutely right!! I Know that if our BOE considers spending that much money at this time on 'football' turf - I certainly won't be MUTE. Thanks for the correction.

Robert W. Morgan
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Teachers vs. football. A conservative solution for you, Mom

We all agree that teachers are necessary, but is football? How important is that? 30 or 40 kids get to play on a team once a week in the fall and we are thinking of spending $3million on turf? Instead let's ban football and have no expenses for turf, uniforms, coaches, transportation to away games, etc. No injuries, no expensive insurance, no August heatstroke.

Shouldn't somebody look at that in light of our $10million problem? After all, less than 1% of our students play football, whereas 100% have multiple teachers.

Davids mom
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Balance

We need to offer a balanced educational program to our young. That includes sports. With a 10 million dollar deficit- just don't see the wisdom in spending 3 million on turf.

Joe Kawfi
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More school choice is needed

School Choice Lowers Crime

Students who won the (school)lottery committed significantly fewer crimes as young adults than those who lost it. So here is another in the long list of educational outcomes improved by market freedoms and incentives.

Dondol
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Football's not the only thing played

on these fields, soccer and Lacross is played by both boys and girls varsity and JV teams. So really you have 11 different teams using the fields. I'm not for the Artificial turf but just wanted to through that out there.

suggarfoot
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Robert

your logic is overwhelming. As always you have a great way of summing things up.

In the next few years, with all the money spent, our school system will be fighting just to stay afloat. I think a few may be in denial.

Veritas
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DM study on injuries
Davids mom
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Veritas

Thank you. I hope that the persons responsible for making an investment in 'turf' keep abreast of the current research and speak with the coaches of the schools that have 'turf'. Honestly - I feel that our pay for teachers need to be considered first before we invest in improving the football fields at this time. Just my opinion.

grizz
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Teacher's pay

[quote=Davids mom]Honestly - I feel that our pay for teachers need to be considered first before we invest in improving the football fields at this time.quote]

Correct David's Mom. Teachers are over-paid for what they do and their pay and benefits needs to be lowered to reasonable levels in order to pay for more things that actually benefit the children.

Davids mom
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Grizz

In my opinion - your thought is one of the reasons that the state of Georgia is 48 in academic achievement. One of the reasons Fayette County is favored as a place to call home - is because of the outstanding teachers in Fayette County - WHO ARE UNDERPAID. I thank them for their service above and beyond the call of duty. I am grateful that you and those who think like you are in a minority not only in Fayette County but in the country. You do not represent the conservative thought - which does not include 'hate'. Conservatives are Americans who have a vision for this country that is different that the progressive thought - but all Americans want what is best for this country. You continue to denigrate. So be it.

grizz
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Davids Mom
Davids mom wrote:

In my opinion - your thought is one of the reasons that the state of Georgia is 48 in academic achievement.

So in your "opinion", my personal thought is a reason that government teachers have failed at their job of educating our children. Wow - you really are out there, aren't you David's Mom? Government teachers are overpaid and they have failed to do their job. They have tried to game the system by cheating and changing the answers on test scores to make themselves look better, but that didn't work now - did it? It only hurt the children that they failed to teach to begin with. Throwing more money at bad teachers is not going to improve the situation. You get rid of the teachers, the teachers unions, and government run schools altogether and let private industry take over.

Veritas
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Grizz just likes conflict

Grizz you do know that there are no teachers unions in Ga..,. (It's called a right to work state) ...dee dee dee....And using ATL schools cheating scandal to condemn all school systems . .... by using your logic all private entities are corrupt as there are thousands of examples of corruption / cheating in every area of the private sector.

wildcat
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You go, grizz!!

Yeah!!! I want to work at the private school that only caters to kids with IQs over 120!!! What do you suppose that private school will be called? Mensa wannabe school??? Oh...and I hope and pray that they do a mental evaluation on each student prior to admittance. I sure don't want to work with kids that have "issues." Mentally healthy kids only...no personal problems. Oh yes....they must have two smart, college-educated parents that live in the home that can "do the math" or at least will sit there and monitor the kid doing the math. My, my....that would be a dream job, wouldn't it? Teaching smart kids that want to learn?

Some of us enjoy the diversity of the student population that we get in the public schools. Sometimes we must measure progress in teaspoons, and sometimes that teaspoon of progress will make our week. Perhaps you have were born with a wonderfully high IQ and your children have equally high IQs and no mental problems. You're lucky.

So, get rid of the teachers, there are no teacher unions in GA (so that problem is solved for you) and let private industry take over. It will be interesting to see what happens within the world of education.

Just so you know. I think Cupcake Hall is a sorry POS. She needs to be charged with something and forced to make reparations. She sickens me.

rmoc
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wildcat ..schools

Not every teacher is "Sir" just in case I show my age look up movie "To Sir, with Love" about a teacher in a rough East End of London neighborhood. If you take the disrespect of those kids and multiply it by 10 you have too many of the kids now..not all but just enough to ruin things for the rest

wildcat
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@ rmoc

I know the movie and love the song! You are correct about the disrepect, fortunately that level of disrepect is not common around here (at least in the high schools that I've worked in). As I wrote earlier, it will be interesting to see what happens. I'm too close to retirement to feel strongly about changing anything on a drastic level and my youngest will be done with school in a couple of years and we will be out of here. Everything is cyclic, is it not? I suspect that in the future a "good" education (ie, a good private school) will be available only to the wealthy. What do you think?

wildcat
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Veritas
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Grizz=waste

Grizz such a waste of human flesh you are... And pray tell what great contribution to society do you provide? Without those you disdain you may have actually achieved your great aspirations of human speed bump extraordinar

szh443
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Feedback from Cobb County

This is an excerpt from an email that I received from Mr. Jimmy Dorsey, AD for McEachern High School

Email:
Ms. Herman,

Thanks for your email and I will try my best to help you out. As Chris told you, we took the "Plunge" and installed (2) Sprinturf fields eight years ago and they are still going strong. Everyone here @ McEachern thinks that may have been the smartest decision in terms of serving our school community anyone here has ever made. Our fields have performed without event and in eight years we have not canceled a single game or contest that was scheduled for those surfaces. The amount of usage has gone from 12-15 events a year on natural grass to a unlimited amount of events throughout the year. Everything from Physical Education classes, ROTC , Band and Athletics to include Graduation has been performed on our fields.

We did a study eight years ago to try and track what we were spending on the maintenance annually on our natural grass fields which indicated it was in the $85,000 mark. This included the following:
Sod, fertilization, weed control, water, sprinkler maintenance, mowing and mower repair and purchases, painting of fields for events and the purchase of that equipment and supplies, man power cost associated with the fore mentioned. One of the most difficult things to put a price on was the increased playability of the fields compared to the limited use we allowed before we had turf as well as the impact on cancellations of both games and practices.

Another by product of having turf we never even took into consideration is the were and tear of our practice and game uniforms compared to playing on natural grass. They now last as much as 2-3 times longer because they do not get exposed to dirt! This also carries into the field houses/locker rooms in terms of cleanliness.

We have not had any issues with staff infections or MRSA. We have not noticed any increases in any heat related problems that we can attribute to the turf. Yes it is a little hotter than natural grass but it does not hold moisture which lowers the humidity which results in lower humi-temp readings.

Our maintenance cost have been basically zero over this 8 year period. We run a brush device across our fields 2-3 times a year but that's about it. The brush device is included with the field and is pulled behind a golf cart or gator.

Good luck with your campaign and let me know if I can answer any specific questions. I feel like I have a pretty good knowledge about this as I also served on the committee that chose the vendor for our county as part of our latest SPLOST program that installed these fields in all of our Cobb System schools.

Much success,

Jim Dorsey
Athletic Director
McEachern High School
2400 New Macland Rd
Powder Springs, Ga 30127

kcchiefandy
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This is a GA educator??

I certainly hope he wasn't an English teacher! There's enough spelling and grammatic errors to fail this assignment! Let's hope he was a P.E. teacher.

Davids mom
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Mr. Dorsey

Thanks! I'm assuming that there have been no injuries to players due to 'turf'.

szh443
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Studies have shown that there

Studies have shown that there is not a higher risk for injuries on synthetic turf fields vs. natural grass fields. It's the sport being played, not the field itself.

In addition, turf fields actually provide a more consistent surface to play on -- grass fields tend to get hard in the areas with the most playing time (down the center) while the sides stay "soft". Synthetic turf fields provide an even surface every time you play, during all types of weather (which cannot be said for natural turf).

Veritas
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Reposted injury studies
Veritas wrote:

http://www.hss.edu/conditions_artificial-turf-sports-injury-prevention.asp
http://www.medpagetoday.com/MeetingCoverage/AAOS/19020

Veritas
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Accuracy counts

"Dorsey, who also helped manage the turf installation at McEachern, said the use of artificial turf could save each school thousands of dollars per year. A three-year investigation revealed that McEachern was paying about $60,000 per year to maintain real grass fields Dorsey said ."
From athletics

But in his letter 85,000 . 

Which is it? Accuracy matters if your going to try and take money from the classroom to Keep up with the Jones's.
and you do know his field was paid for by an endowment
"McEachern spent $1.2 million, funded by a private endowment, to put down artificial turf in its stadium and a practice field"
-Cobb school system defends new turf at schools. AJC-

Maybe you should try that route.

Busy Bee
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McEachern H.S.

As a native of Cobb County who graduated from one of McEachern's rival high schools, I've always known that McEachern was an odd hybrid of public and private school with its own endowment. The campus is unlike any public school you've ever seen. It resembles a college campus rather than your typical suburban h.s., and in fact it was originally named the 7th District Agricultural and Mechanical School. It eventually became part of the Cobb County school system, but maintained its endowment from the founder, who also founded Life of Georgia insurance co. I've never been sure how the endowment works, not sure if some of the money goes to fund the Cobb County BOE, or if it is strictly used for McEachern. But at my high school, which was a big division rival, we always noticed the disparity in the quality of the two schools' athletic complexes. So, of all the schools in Cobb County, I am not in the least surprised that McEachern can afford turf fields.

Dondol
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szh443, You can try to Sell the Turf

All you want to, wrong time, not gonna happen, people are broke and are not going to vote in another TAX! I don't care what kind of Tax it is, its not gonna float.
Enrollment is down and people are not moving in our county right now and this sure isn't going to draw them in, but hey Good try. By the way, Went by McIntosh today and the field looks GREAT, nice and green and Soft, like Grass should be. Ready for the upcoming Season. GO CHIEFS!

kcchiefandy
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Dondol...

...maybe we can pass another SPLOST and put turf on the new bypasses?

suggarfoot
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priceless! ha ha

I like it!

AtHomeGym
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Dondol & The Turf Issue

Hey, this lady has admitted that she is in the turf business! Should be end of story---nice attack, wrong hill!

szh443
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Not sure if you're referring to me,

but I am not in the turf business -- never have been and never will. There are many reasons to be "for" or "against" turf fields. I am pursuing this because I see the benefits to our community (not only schools) outweighing the negatives.

chrissy314r2
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STUPID

Seriously, School enrollment is down, Budget has to be cut by Board of Education by 6 million dollars and some moron thinks we need astro turf? Unemployment is at a high so let's pass another tax that citizen can't afford. Astro turf is NOT a Priority and it in no way will help property values but good try Mr. Herman.

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I don't care for artificial turf, but we do need better fields..

some of them are atrocious.

We can't just stop spending money on our schools. It will hurt everyone.

kcchiefandy
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Why don't the schools...

...raise prices for the events that use these fields and use those proceeds?

mthom5436
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Who says the schools even

Who says the schools even want this? So far I haven't seen anyone who actually represents the schools give an opinion. If Herman's group has a principle(s) or a group of coaches behind them; wouldn't the article or Sally have mentioned it?

I went to the facebook page. So far, it only has 33 followers and following a facebook page does not imply support.

szh443
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FYI - There are plenty of

FYI - There are plenty of coaches/principals that are behind this push for turf fields. Probably not a wise choice for them to jump into this since they'll hear grief from people no matter their position.

opusman
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Only 4 of 5 schools rep to turf discussion

According to your Facebook only 4 of 5 school reps and Bearden showed to your discussion. Then the Turf Facebook page has a massive 33 followers..

AtHomeGym
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Turf & Principals

Any Principal worth his/her salt should be able to handle"grief" or "glory", whatever citizens wish to dish out--to do otherwise or to do nothing speaks ill of their comittment, whatever it may be.

Snow Bunny
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thought

A number of cash strapped school districts have sold naming rights to everything from Football Stadiums to Auditoriums to Libraries in order to raise money. Rather than a new tax, maybe the districts should consider the idea of selling the naming rights to these stadiums in order to raise money for the new turf (as well as other necessary improvements)

justacitizen
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You got to be kidding

Schools need to cut back on spending. It will hurt no one but the bloated administration.

G35 Dude
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A way to save

I think this is one area that Clayton County is ahead of us. They have 2 very nice stadiums that the high schools share. Using the $480,000 figure that is quoted here for upkeep on a grass stadium that is a savings of over $1.4 mil. And at $670,000 thats a savings of over $2 mil. How many teachers jobs would that save?

ginga1414
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Who In Their Right Mind?

Is this more of Smith and Smola's rational behind closed door thinking?

askari
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Incredible

It is amazing how out of touch some folks can be to even consider spending $3.2 million on astroturf. Teachers are taking 5 furlough days next year and a couple of science teachers are being cut from each school. Even floating this idea shows incredibly narrow focus or maybe some personal benefit, who knows?

szh443
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TURF FIELDS COST LESS

Again, turf fields over the length of 10 years cost LESS than maintaining natural turf. There is even the ability to generate revenue by hosting clinics, camps and tournaments on the high school fields. It's not just spending money, it's saving money (mind you, over 10 years, but it IS SAVING money).

Note: Personnel costs are NOT covered by ESPLOST funds. ESPLOST funds are ONLY for improvements to facilities, technology, facilities, buses, etc.

Note: I have zero personal benefit. My kids will have graduated by the time the turf fields are installed.

Veritas
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Szh443 can you not read??

No savings on turf .... Higher over all cost.,.Thought you might have some intelligence but obviously .. I over estimated your conitive abilities....

Maintenance
            It is a myth that synthetic fields require less maintenance than natural turfgrass fields or to say that artificial turf fields are maintenance free. Synthetic fields require 1) additional infill, 2) irrigation because of unacceptably high temperatures on warm-sunny days, 3) chemical disinfectants, 4) sprays to reduce static cling and odors, 5) drainage repair and maintenance, 6) erasing and repainting temporary lines, and 7) removing organic matter accumulation. In a recent presentation by the Michigan State University, Certified Sports Turf Manager, she cited that the typical annual maintenance costs of her artificial turf fields ranged from $13,720-$39,220, while the typical annual maintenance costs of her natural turf fields had a similar range of $8,133-$48,960 (1).

Long-term costs
            Long-term costs are less with natural turf fields compared to synthetic turf fields. Artificial fields need replacing every 8-10 years, whereas a natural turf field does not need as frequent renovation and can be renovated at a much reduced price compared to an artificial field. In a 16-year scenario, Fresenburg came up with an annual average cost for each field type as follows: the natural soil-based field, $33,522; the sand-cap grass field, $49,318; the basic synthetic field, $65,846; and the premium synthetic field, $109,013 (2).

Disposal costs
            When artificial turf (in-fill systems) needs renovating every 8-10 years, there is a hidden cost of disposal. Because the field is filled and top-dressed with a crumb rubber material (typically made from ground automobile tires), the material may require special disposal. Disposal costs are estimated at $130,000 plus transportation and landfill charges (3).

szh443
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None of an ESPLOST goes

None of an ESPLOST goes towards personnel. It's a penny SALES tax that goes towards capital; textbooks, facilities, etc.
FYI - Turf fields would only be 4% of the expected income generated from the proposed ESPLOST.

ptcfins
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Does this make any sense at all?

There is absolutely NO reason to be considering a $3.2M expenditure of tax dollars for something as superficial as artificial turf. This would not enhance the quality of education in ANY way that I can see. When teachers are being furloughed, facilities are falling into disrepair, technology is behind, many instructional programs aren't available, and class sizes are increasing, what does ASTROTURF do to help? Good grief! If you put your name on the petition, I would suggest removing it if you haven't thought all of this through.

In addition, how is it reasonable to spend $3.2M on a supposed enhancement of something that is already available at every high school countywide(our fields are already just fine), when there are a large number of kids in the varsity swim program that have no place for a swim meet? They have no facilities except to "rent" an pool with limited lanes, and no spectator seating, from Peachtree City which must be shared by ALL high schools, community users, recreational leagues, etc. They have to be at the pool at 5:00 AM so they can all fit their practice and conditioning in. Did anyone see the picture of the large team of the extremely competitive, happy and fit swimmers from Starrs Mill in the Citizen today?

Note: I am in no way suggesting that School Board taxes (ESPOLST) should pay for an aquatic facility any more than I think those taxes should pay for astroturf.

PTC Observer
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ptcfins - When

there is a professional swimming league, equivalent to the NFL, then and only then will you and others get a publicly funded swim facility that meets your needs.

The NFL is a crony capitalist enterprise, supported by the public from grade school to super bowl. Nearly all professional sports activities wouldn't have the margins they have or pay the salaries they pay without the financial support of people that have no interest in them.

Pats by 32

ptcfins
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PTC Observer

What is the difference in sports between swimming and baseball, soccer, basketball, and football. Furthermore, an aquatic center is not only for swim teams. My mother is one of many disabled that aquatics is the only form of exercise they can do. I would think with the amount of senior citizens that live in this community there would be more support for this. Very unfortunate that we are the only metro county that believes in this. Cobb, Cherokee, Forsyth, Fulton, Hall, Gwinnett,DeKalb, Covington, Coweta, Douglas, Carrol, etc. ALL have swim facilities.

PTC Observer
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ptcfins - I

I feel your pain, sounds like you have a lot of other places to live if you choose to, but....my point seems to be lost on you.

Ninja Guy
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PTCFins, Don't Mind PTCO

he never has any fun so he tries his hardest to prevent others from having any! He is desperately trying to build a time machine to take him back to 1789, when there were no pesky things like aquatic centers, football fields, and freedom for blacks and women to worry about! Harmless but a bit testy he is!

I too can't understand why PTC does not have a property swim venue! Perhaps you could contact those nice Porsche people up in Atlanta to finance one for us! Germans understand the value of being having property stroke technique!

Veritas
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Suggested reading for Ms. Herman

Ms.Herman and turf supporters I strongly suggest you read and become informed...

http://turf.uark.edu/turfhelp/archives/021109.html

http://www.redhenturf.com/pdfs/TheTruthAboutArtificialTurf.pdf

szh443
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GENERAL - Looks and feels

GENERAL
- Looks and feels like natural grass - all year round, no matter the weather
- Unmatched durability and drainage - better than natural grass
- No need for pesticides, fertilizers, herbicides, and fungicides
- No watering - protects our precious natural resources
- Low maintenance and upkeep (over a 10 year period, it costs LESS than grass)
-Reduce carbon emissions from mowing, weed-eating, and edging
SPORTS
-Maximizes playing time
-Increases revenue generation potential (clinics, camps, tournaments)
-Offers the most proven, durable and safest product in the industry
-Provides a consistent artificial turf surface for superior all-around performance
-Minimizes abrasions, neural and joint injuries (there is virtually no difference between the number of injuries on turf vs natural grass)

AtHomeGym
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Veritas & Suggested Reading

How about recycle her through Financial Peace University! Dave Ramsey might even kick in a deal for free!

Busy Bee
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Interesting Reading about artificial turf

Aside from the fact that it would be insane to spend $3.2 million extra when the FCBOE is contemplating teacher layoffs, the above links in Veritas's post provide some things to consider when contemplating the switch to artificial turf:
1) Artificial turf fields are hotter than natural turf fields. Here in Georgia there is already high risk for heat exhaustion/heat stroke during August football practice, even without increasing the on field temperature with artificial turf
2)Artificial turf can increase risk of knee, foot, and ankle injuries in athletes.
3) There is a lot of maintenance required for artificial turf, including raking the field after use.
4) Artificial turf must be replaced after 8-12 years due to compaction of the playing surface and worn out seams, both of which can cause injuries to athletes if not fixed.
5) Artificial turf must be protected by tarps or plywood when the field is being used for non-sporting events, such as graduation. High heels can damage the turf. This can be time-consuming and expensive.
6) Seams sometimes tear or wear out requiring repairs by a specialist.

MYTMITE
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Gee, guess I am in, if people are going to look at the turf

fields and ignore all the foreclosure signs, etc. and decide to move to PTC I am all for it. (Sarcasm, intended). I think there are many many things we need to consider with our schools and our city as a whole without thinking of putting in turf with our economy the way it is---if we were flush, maybe. Speaking of flush, is everyone else as incensed over our water and sewer bills as I am? Was out of town for 22 days in a billing period with all water turned off at main valve and my bill was only two dollars leaa than for a regular billing. Was told there was no problem and that was the correct amount for the bill---the basic bill for my property is only two dollars cheaper than if I have showered, cooked and washed clothes for 30 days instead of eight! Go figure---

Mike King
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Another Tax?

Let me get this straight, folks relocate to Fayette County for high school athletics? Somewhere along the way the quality of education seems to be much more of a draw, but in any case now is certainly not the time and Fayette is not the place.

szh443
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I agree that academics is a

I agree that academics is a HUGE draw. That's why we moved here. But we also know that a well-rounded student is more desirable than just a studious one.

And yes, some people do move to Fayette County for sports. What a benefit to have not only a great academic draw, but also a draw for the athletics. We have state champs/finalists in boys' AND girls' soccer, multiple high school football teams in addition to a great lacrosse program. Younger students feeding into the 5 high schools will also benefit from having turf fields, not just the high school students.

Note: We're looking to the future. The ESPLOST is for May 2014-April 2019

ptcfins
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Just be happy...

szh443 you should be so happy that you at least have football fields. Football is one sport that seems to have plenty of money.. Have you seen Starrs Mill's scoreboard?? I am a parent of a swimmer... do you know what they have? NOTHING!!! They "share" an eight lane pool that has been closed this season due to a forever ending project to replace a bubble. The swimmers have to practice at 5 AM in the mornings because AGAIN they have to SHARE 8 lanes with all users of the same pool. So seriously..... you really think that artifical turf that only serves the ones that play that sport is deserving??? Don't get me wrong.. I am for all sports and I love football and support them everytime I go to a game.. however, I am sick of football being the premiere sport. The other athletes in other sports count as well. They have the same dreams and goals as any of the football players. They work hard if not harder than any football player. So just be happy with what you have. THis is not an appropriate time to be asking FCBOE for 3.2 million dollars!! You want to know where many Fayette County swimmers of gone? They too have won many championships, we have many swimmers attending top universities on swimming scholarships and going to Junior Nationals and the Olympic qualifiers... I'm sure there are parents in other sports that can share their own success stories with you as well. My point here is YES atheletics is important but it must be balanced!! Not everyone that moves to Fayette county are football players.

Let me just dream for a minute.... We could build a pool or pools for the schools that the swimteam can use. Also, when the swimteam is not using it, ALL students can also use the pool for leisure or exercise using their school id's. If we are going to use ESPLOST money for atheletics.. let's start with the programs that REALLY need it! We do not live in the 90210 zipcode. I know a pool is only a DREAM and will NEVER happen at the school or county level.. but I can DREAM.. Goodnight and sweetdreams...

szh443
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Ptcfins - As a matter of

Ptcfins - As a matter of fact, my boys have only played one season of football and they are not planning on playing again. We are by no means a "football family". However, there are so many activities that are played on the main school athletic (football) field, that it's unfair to say it's just for football. Some of the other activities are graduations, boys lacrosse, girls lacrosse, boys soccer, girls soccer, band, track and field and more.

I agree that if one looks at all the sports and activities in the schools, they ALL work hard and make sacrifices. Football, by no means, is the most deserving of anything. The money being earmarked for schools needs to benefit the largest number of students as possible (especially in this economy). I know baseball wants new fields, some of the schools don't even have tennis courts, MHS has problems with the height of their ceilings which causes issues for volleyball players...there are a lot of needs and not enough money. Maybe 16 years ago, but not anymore. However, we can't just stop spending money on our schools. We need to continue to maintain them and to also upgrade them to keep competitive (not saying to just spend willy-nilly). One thing that people keep forgetting (not necessarily you) is that it costs less money to maintain the synthetic turf fields and it can generate money for the county by having clinics, camps and tournaments throughout the year (I know the same can be said for other sports as well).
Again...I want to clarify, we are NOT a football family. We enjoyed it when the boys played, but we do not live and breathe football...at all.

As mentioned in an earlier post, I am currently on a committee reviewing the proposed ESPLOST and swimming pools DID come up in the conversation. It is well known that there is a large swimming community in Fayette County and that there is not a school facility for the swimmers.

ptcfins
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Correction

I realized after my post that you were not a football family. Sorry for the confusion. We can both agree that improvements need to be made. It is hard for me to push the $ for a field that serves all current activities when there are other needs. I spent all weekend in Columbus drooling over plans they have for a huge recreation complex that includes a natatorium. Swimming pulls hundreds of families in a community for mulitple days. We were one that had to get a hotel, eat out, and shop between our 4 hours meets.. two sessions a day.. Southern Crescent Aquatic team, here in Peachtree City is hosting the 14 and under State Championship meet at the end of the month where USA swimmers from all over the state will be competing for 3 straight days. We will be bringing in a LOT of revenue but guess where it is going? FULTON COUNTY! Why? We cant hold a meet here.. We are holding it at Georgia Tech. I understand your envy of other areas.. I too am very envious. I apprectiate your effort..however, it wont fly here in Fayette... call me selfish but I would much rather have a swimming facility. It's not that we want a better one... we simply do not have one.

PTC Observer
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Mike King - call it

a grass tax.

You wouldn't want the people that use the service to pay for it would you?

They certainly don't want to, they want you to pay for it!

Veritas
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Priorities people PRIORITIES ASTRO TURF

Really ...Astro turf really .... Really BOE in the hole and 3.2 mil for astro turf ... Please explain how this 1 saves money and 2 even crossed a semi rational persons mind with the current budget crisis facing the BOE... I suggest supporters get their facts straight by researching .....
Please read this
http://turf.uark.edu/turfhelp/archives/021109.html

AtHomeGym
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Turf Fields

How do turf fields increase home values? And if folks use turf fields as a deciding factor on whether or not to move to FC, I say that's absolutely ridiculous and they should stay where they are. This may be a good idea to pursue upon economic recovery--not now. And oh, NO MORE NEW TAXES! Or why not just ask the FC Parks & Recreation folks to add you to their list--that oughta work!

szh443
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People send their kids to

People send their kids to schools for more than just academics...parents want their kids to be well-rounded. Sports, band, drama, etc. assist in making a well-rounded student. Turf fields is a sign that a community believes in maintaining and upgrading their current facilities. Yes, it is imperative to keep competitive -- competitive with the north side of Atlanta and Coweta County.

Other draws: There will be more opportunities to hold tournaments here in Fayette County vs. always traveling to the north. More hotel rooms will be sold, more restaurants eaten in and more. Fayette County can begin to draw clinics and tournaments from around the metro area and even around the state (more centrally located). All of these help the community and housing prices.

In addition, the athletes will have almost 3x more playing/practice time on the field.

The proposed ESPLOST is slated for May 2014-April 2019.

TinCan
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What the hey!

Come on, 3.2 will only bump the deficit up to a nice round 10 mil. Maybe we can get a T(urf)SPLOST or a NG(no grass)SPLOST or a WTH(what the h---)SPLOST or maybe all three for good measure. We should probably stop when the SPLOST total hits, let’s say, 25%.

szh443
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The ESLOST is a penny SALES

The ESLOST is a penny SALES tax...only those that spend money in Fayette County will help pay for it. All the people who work in Fayette County regardless of where they live would help every time they chose to go to lunch during work.

WE do the same whenever we spend money in Coweta County (Sam's Club, NCG, Ashley Park, etc.). WE are funding Coweta County's ESPLOST and helping THEIR schools, but we can't do it for ourselves? The same goes for very dollar you spend in Cobb, Fulton, Forsyth and Gwinnett Counties. You are helping fund their schools' ESPLOST.

Again, it's a penny SALES tax. You only contribute if you spend money here in Fayette County.

mthom5436
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First thoughts

1. 28,500 per year to maintain grass fields. Did I read that wrong? Sounds kind of steep or maybe exaggerated. Is there a maintenance workers entire salary hidden in that figure?

2."There was consideration given to raising the money privately, but that plan was set aside over concerns it wouldn’t be able to meet the $3.2 million goal, Herman said." ---When it gets tough just give up and have someone else pay the bill.

4. Is it any emergency? Can we maybe wait until we get some of our current budget issues resolved first?

3. Other then the fact that the FCBOE is broke; this turf idea sounds great. Especially if we're talking about the same stuff that Ga Tech has on the soccer fields. My knees love running on that stuff.

szh443
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To answer your questions: 1.

To answer your questions:
1. $28,000 - $5k mowing/maintenance, $1K equipment, $4K fertilizer/herbicides, etc., $8K reseeding/resodding/top dressing, $8K water, $500 sprinkler repairs, $2K line paint.
2. In this economy, families, businesses and communities are strapped...a penny SALES tax will be funded by anyone that shops in Fayette County (not just Fayette Co. residents). Many, many of us from Fayette County go to Sam's, Ashley Park, NCG, etc. WE are helping to improve Coweta Counties schools (athletic fields, textbooks, etc) with their current ESPLOST penny sales tax.
3. This ESPLOST is for the future - May 2014 thru April 2019. The ESPLOST cannot cover personnel costs. It is ONLY for capital gains; textbooks, buses, facilities, etc.
NOTE: We need to not only maintain our facilities (including athletic facilities), but we need to stay competitive with Coweta County and our neighbors to the north.

Veritas
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Szh443 Expenses for artificial

Please read the links provided earlier and see the expenses for artificial turf vs natural then rethink your reply

szh443
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Comment on the Turf Fields

Comment on the Turf Fields for Fayette County Facebook page:

Full disclosure: I'm in the turf business. However, the benefits are clear: safer for the players (it has kind of a built-in cushion), no weather delays, the surface is always playable so kids get more exercise, less costly to maintain, long-term financial payback (resurface is significantly less costly than the first install), saves lots of precious water, eliminates the need to use herbicides and fertilizers and the run-off into our lakes, no pollution & CO2 emissions from mowers, etc etc.

Also see www.syntheticturfcouncil.org
Synthetic Turf Council
www.syntheticturfcouncil.org

VERITAS: In addition, please read the email from the McEachern Athletic Director (most recent post). It answers a lot of questions from someone who is maintaining a turf fields (8 years).

mthom5436
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szh443

"Full disclosure: I'm in the turf business."

Szh443, Are you in the turf business or are you quoting someone from your Facebook page? The comment above was structured in a way I found confusing. If so, what is your role in the "turf business"? How do you benefit from this professionally? Being as you don't benefit from it personally, since your youngest will be in college before the turf is installed.

Veritas
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Szh442 I have answers not questions

.
I don't have questions I have answers with links from people with vastly more experience with synthetic turf installation ,maintenance  and financial than anything you have replied with. 
University of Arkansas turf maintence manager 
University of Missouri extension turf grass 
Redhen turf ( they sell natural and synthetic)
Etc etc  way more experience ...
I've done the research and coached several sports at the middle school
High school and rec levels for a number of years and played on both . I suggest you really research and become educated on the subject
Not info from  A salesman not from an High school AD who lobbies for his synthetic field.

So, I provide Again for you some research.

http://www.loudountaxpayer.com/main/index.php?option=com_content&view=ar...

http://cafnr.missouri.edu/research/turfgrass-costs.php

http://plasticfieldsfornever.org/ArtificialTurfBooklet.pdf

szh443
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With all due respect, I have

With all due respect, I have educated myself on turf vs. grass, not only with people in the industry and people that actually utilize turf fields, but also by doing a lot of on line research (as you have). There is information all over the internet on the pros and cons. I would bet that each of us can post many links to reputable sites that are either "FOR" or "AGAINST" turf fields. One is not "more reputable" than another.

I am doing this for the Fayette County community. I truly believe Fayette County needs turf fields at ALL five high schools. I'm sure you've read my comments below as to why I feel this way. Again, I have no personal stake here...my boys will be in college by the time something like this comes to fruition.

Veritas
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Reputable independant / University studies and findings

Unfortunately some are more reputable. University studies far outweigh in reliability and unbiased fact than studies done to sway opinions for financial gain. University systems have no vested interest one way or another as they are not in the business of selling natural turf or synthetic turf. Once again pay close attention to the sources supplied. Artificial turf is nice don't get me wrong but are in no way a cost effective alternative especially in today's financial situation facing the BOE. My problem is the seriously flawed and misleading rational you use to try and bolster your position.

Heat study from BYU
http://aces.nmsu.edu/programs/turf/documents/brigham-young-study.pdf

G35 Dude
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szh443 - Answer this question!
Quote:

I truly believe Fayette County needs turf fields at ALL five high schools.

Why, if turf increase time available for use, do we need 5 fields? Again why not follow Clayton's lead and have 2 nice stadiums for the high schools to share? We need to look for ways to save money in today's environment.

Veritas
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Szh442 I have answers not questions

.

szh443
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As we all know, there is a

As we all know, there is a wealth of information on the internet. The grass vs turf costs I received were from a couple different sources. The quote I received for turf maintenance was for $7K/year

How does the cost of a synthetic turf field compare to a natural turf field?

Purchasing a synthetic turf field may seem expensive initially, but the field pays for itself over time, proving to be a highly cost-effective investment. Synthetic turf fields are typically utilized for about 3,000 hours of play per year, with no “rest” required, the equivalent of three to four well-maintained natural turf fields. In addition, synthetic turf maintenance costs are two to three times less than natural turf, since no mowing, irrigation or chemicals are needed. Because of its consistent availability, a synthetic turf field is also a reliable source of rental revenue for schools and communities.

According to Cory Jenner, a landscape architecture professional in Syracuse, N.Y., the cost of installing and maintaining a synthetic turf sports field over a 20-year period (including one replacement field) is over three times less expensive per event than the cost of a grass field over the same period of time. This is because many more events can be held on a synthetic turf sports field. “Financially speaking, artificial turf is more cost-effective over time,” Jenner said. This cost per event advantage is validated by other authorities and field owners.

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