As the 2019 football season finished, the district is currently in the process of working on a plan to replace the turf on Hutchinson Field. The current turf was installed in 2012.
According to athletic director Jeff Staley, the current turf is breaking down.
“It has become worn down and the fibers are starting to break down in the turf,” Staley said. “There are several options being looked at, ranging from trying to rejuvenate the current field, all the way to replacing the old turf with new turf,” Staley said.
Turf is made up of synthetic fibers that are made to imitate grass. They can be made of either nylon or polypropylene, which are referred to as the monofilament. Infill is the rubber compound or polyester foam that is used to cushion the layer underneath the “grass”.
District Chief Operations Officer Tom Stegman has been tasked with gathering information about different turf products. The district has not yet made a final decision.
“What happens from our standpoint is, once we have that [budget] information, it will be looked at in a facilities, capital outlay or management plan to determine what needs need to come,” Stegman said. “And that’s that kind of a decision that comes across with the information that Mr. Proffitt, Dr. Hanson, or myself and then the school board helps make that decision.”
Stegman is currently in the process of contacting different turf companies to collect information about each product.
“When it comes to replacement, once you have a specific product and an idea of what you want, it is our responsibility to get with that turf company and start making a timeline of when it would be replaced,” Stegman said.
Stegman is not only responsible for considering the needs of the football team, but also many other groups in the community.
“The other thing we need to think about is, it’s not just about football. This is a multi-purpose field. It’s used by the middle school and special education students. It’s also used by other schools such as St. Mary’s Colgan. So this field gets a lot of use,” Stegman said. “What we need to do is find a quality monofilament, or turf, that will last the longest.”
According to Stegman, price is not the only factor that must influence the district’s decision.
“When it comes to financing big projects, it’s not always about taking the lesser bid,” Stegman said. “But [if the option] will be the best option for our kids, for our school, for community, but also making sure that it’s a quality product that will last over time.”