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Board of Education Approves Funding for Athletic Field Conversion to Turf

Board of Education Approves Funding for Athletic Field Conversion to Turf
Allison McGowan

At its February 12 business meeting, the Springfield Board of Education approved funding to convert the main athletic fields at Springfield and Thurston high schools to artificial turf. 

The request to convert the fields to artificial turf came from both high schools and community groups, citing the inability of other students and youth athletic programs to utilize the fields due to the deterioration of the grass fields during football season. Converting to artificial turf will allow other students and groups to utilize the field year round including soccer, band, lacrosse, cheerleading, as well as physical education classes.

The District anticipates the turf fields will generate around $50,000 annually, based on the community rental revenue generated by the Hamlin Middle School artificial field. Hamlin's fields are used more than 300 days per year. 

Springfield Public Schools is working with Beynon Sports as part of a statewide pricing agreement and work is expected to start in the spring with completion expected in time for the 2024-25 fall sports season. Graduation ceremonies will still be held at the respective high school stadiums. 

The premium topsoil recovered from the current grass fields is slated to be used to improve green spaces at schools throughout the District. 

Each field will cost approximately $1.7 million, with funds coming from existing District resources.