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Plans for new turf at local high schools run into obstacles


Staff Writer

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The plan for new football fields at two local high schools ran into a flood of obstacles at the Washington County Board of Education meeting Thursday.

Both Daniel Boone High School and David Crockett High School are currently on deck to receive new synthetic turf for their football fields, but those in charge of making it happen kept running into issues.

“I know you didn’t want to exceed $1.5 million on the project, but it won’t get done for that much,” Baseline Sports Construction President Will Ferguson told the Washington County Board of Education at their Nov. 4 meeting. “We are looking at more like $1.65 million.”

That bid was the amount needed to turf the entirety of both fields, according to Ferguson.

Ferguson pointed out the proximity to the county-owned Gray Quarry, explaining that they needed #57 stone, which is a gravel-like material consisting of specifically sized stones, and #8 stone, otherwise known as clean crushed, which is 50 cents more per unit.

In addition to cost increase, getting the materials to their destination may also be a challenge.

“We will have to build a bridge across the track (at Crockett) with plywood and stone,” Ferguson said. “We will actually have to go across the track twice.”

The entrance and exit points for the material raised concern among the board members.

“We will have to not only cross the track, but also the parking lot and driveway,” Ferguson said. “There will be 300 truckloads of dirt and 250 truckloads of stone.”

Board chairman Jason Day asked about weight limits for these paths.

“We will need to know the weight limits of the parking lot, bridge and driveway,” Day said. “We want minimum damage while still finding the cost-efficient option.”

While weight was the consideration at Crockett, Boone posed a whole new issue.

“Crockett has three catch basins under their field for water drainage,” Ferguson said. “Boone has none. The field itself becomes one big drainage system. Our question is, how do we get the water off the Boone field?”

Catch basins direct water to connected drain pipes, which then carry the water to a discharge point to avoid flooding.

“There are no outlets. We have to have a catch basin,” Ferguson said. “There has to be a pipe to carry it out, and it isn’t the size of the pipe, but the slope. We need to get it to carry the water in the right direction away from the field.”

Ferguson added, “Once the current issues have been addressed and the project can continue moving forward, there will be a 10 to 12 year lifespan on the fields, with an eight-year warranty.

“We will perform a three-, six- and nine-year maintenance check on the fields to check function and safety,” Ferguson said. “Our goal is to get it to 12 years and meet ASTM (American Society for Testing Materials) standards and criteria.”

Installation, inlays and sewing of the seams is all under the warranty, he said.

“We want to extend the life of the fields as far as possible,” Washington County Director of Schools Jerry Boyd said.

Further discussion between the BOE and Baseline Construction is planned to resolve the issues.