Valley Local School District Board of Education recently approved the purchase of new synthetic sports field turf.
“It began to become obvious to the board of education and I that our field turf has come to the end of its life expectancy. There are several things that we are starting to observe on the field, just to name a few are uneven ground, tears and rips in the field,” Valley Superintendent Carl McCroy said. “The board and I have been discussing the idea to replace the field for a year or so now, and we feel this is the perfect time to do it. Last year we made several key personnel changes, which resulted in placing the district back into a little better financial situation.”
When the Valley Board of Education and McCroy began exploring the idea of replacing the turf, they realized over 40 percent of the students at Valley use the field, whether for games, practices or performances.
“The kids will benefit the most by having an updated field and that is what it is all about, the kids,” McCroy said.
The board did look into returning the field to grass and doing away with synthetic turf, but after a cost evaluation, they decided that the cost was just as high, if not higher to replace and maintain field grass.
“When you think about all the added cost of mowing, lining for both football and soccer, watering, seeding, the equipment needed for all of that and the man power, the cost starts to really add up. Plus, you think back to safety, with field turf you are actually getting 9 lbs. of rubber per yard that cushions our kids when they fall, slide, dive or whatever on that field,” McCroy said.
Darren Crabtree, athletic director for Valley Local School, said the time is right to replace the turf, both financially and for bettering the conditions of the field.
“Obviously, when you have a turf for eleven years, a time comes to replace it. Upgrading the facility is huge, because it protects our athletes, gives us a nice place to practice and gives us the ability to schedule events and not worry about weather. Plus, our facility is used heavily and turf lasts longer and is more durable,” Crabtree said. “Replacing the turf just ensures that the kids will be able to enjoy the field for another ten years.”
Schools officials say the project should be complete by the fall of 2014.
Joseph Pratt can be contacted at the Portsmouth Daily Times 740-353-3101, EXT 287, or by Twitter @JosephPratt03.