Tulsa School Board To Vote On Replacing Turf At 2 Stadiums

Monday, October 7th 2013, 5:14 pm
By: News On 6

Replacing worn-out turf at two Tulsa Public Schools stadiums could cost the district almost $400,000, even though it's still under warranty.

Monday, the Tulsa school board got the chance to hear why it is necessary to replace the turf at LaFortune and S.E. Williams stadiums.

The athletic director told us this replacement is critical to keep players safe.

On football Friday nights, players aren't the only ones taking hits. The turf they play on also gets a beating.

"Over a period of time, the tops of this just starts tearing away, because people are running on it all the time," said TPS Athletic Director Gil Cloud.

Seven years ago, Tulsa's LaFortune and S.E. Williams stadiums were upgraded with new turf, but the athletic director is now learning the company didn't use quality synthetic grass.

"The level of product that they purchased really was the problem," Cloud said. "They had a new supplier that they'd never used before."

If you take a look at the turf, you can see it is matted down and it has lost some of its bounce, which, over time, could become problematic.

"The problem is it will continue to break down," Cloud said.

But the athletic director doesn't want to take any chances, so he's asking the board to replace the synthetic grass.

Since it is still under warranty, the district could replace it with the same type of turf for free. But after seeing how fast it has deteriorated, school leaders decided it would be best to upgrade the quality at both fields, which will cost about $375,000.

"We have a real sense of urgency to do this now, because both of those stadiums are used for soccer in the spring. Both of those stadiums are used for track," Cloud said.

Along with the new turf, the athletic director wants to add the TPS logo to the middle of both fields.

"We came up with putting our logo in the center, which I think will be good, because we have a lot of games on television."

If approved, the company has also agreed to give TPS a new eight-year warranty.

The board is expected to vote on this in two weeks.