Fake turf considered for TTHS | SierraSun.com

Fake turf considered for TTHS

Two athletic fields at Tahoe-Truckee High School may be getting artificial turf.

The Tahoe-Truckee Unified School District is expected to approve a donation concept that would trade advertising space for the donation and installation of FieldTurf, a new synthetic grass that has been installed on playing fields across the nation.

“Right now it’s just a concept,” said Mike Finney, principal at Tahoe-Truckee High School. “A gentleman here in the community approached me with an idea and we’ve just gone from there.”

The idea is simple: gather a group of corporate sponsors to fund the project in return for a sign recognizing their involvement. Some initial research turned up that a sign facing Interstate 80 would be seen by an average of 30 million cars per year.

At the moment, no donor for the turf has been lined up.

The idea was first introduced to the school board at the March 7 meeting where a lengthy discussion about the idea led to questions the board wanted answered.

“With any project like this it’s important to get everyone involved to think about the project in terms of its pros and cons,” said TTUSD Board President Karen Van Epps. “We wanted to make an informed decision.”

One of the main concerns board members had was ensuring that corporate sponsors were appropriate.

“We didn’t want tobacco or alcohol companies on a sign that is located at a high school,” said Van Epps.

Board members also wanted a plan to deal with the displacement of teams during the six weeks it could take to install the fields as well as some information regarding the safety record of FieldTurf.

Finney was expected to address these issues at Wednesday night’s school board meeting. His proposal weighs the benefits of installing FieldTurf against any possible harms. He concluded that the project is sound.

“Right now we have a lack of field space,” said Finney. “(This proposal) increases space because it increases the amount of time the field is able to be used. You don’t need any recovery time for a field like this. You can play a soccer game right after a football game without hurting the field.”

Board member Pat Gibbons-Johnson said she recognizes the advantages.

“I don’t like the infusion of advertising in schools, but I think this is something that could really help our students,” said Gibbons-Johnson.

Gibbons-Johnson feels the proposal will most likely get the board’s approval.

Once the board signs off on the idea, the real work begins.

“In the best case scenario, if the board approves the proposal and we are able to find someone to fund the (project) the next day we could see the fields installed in a few months,” said Finney. “Realistically, we’re probably looking at seeing something in about a year.”

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