3/11/2014 1:49:00 PM Triton School Board
Artificial turf install approved
By Larry Dobson
Triton School Board members elected to accept the donation of $580, 000 to help pay for installation of artificial turf on the athletic field where football and track events are held. The donation will cover significantly more than half of the total cost of converting the field from sod to artificial turf. The initial school district share is $270,000, however there are additional expenses that were mentioned at Monday night's regular board meeting but were not identified or given an amount.
Prior to voting on whether to accept the donation and proceed with getting arrangements made for installation of the artificial turf, the board had a spirited debate on the pros and cons of switching to the material.
Superintendent Brett Joyce said the board had to decide whether artificial turf is a want or a need. He said the board had a vigorous debate on the issues and, if it decided installing turf was a need, it had carefully considered the pros and cons. He encouraged the board, if it decided to proceed with installation, to make plans for funding the future replacement when it becomes necessary. He reported that about 88% of school staff were opposed to installing the turf. Results of the public survey on the school website were not given.
Board members expressed reservations about spending so much money on the turf when the district is going to have to ask the voters in the near future to approve a levy override. They also expressed concerns about putting the responsibility for dealing with turf replacement on a future board.
Board members Dale Jensen and Terry Selthun questioned the reliability of the projected cost figures the board had been given for replacing the turf when necessary. They also questioned whether the turf will stand up for the 12-15 years the manufacturer advised the district it would last when other schools have not experienced that longevity, since warranty is for eight years.
Chairman Jon Streiff responded that the turf will probably last 20 years or more and voiced objections to budgeting for anticipated replacement.