Carmel High School fields to be replaced with synthetic turf
By Pete Smith
The Carmel Clay School Board approved a bid to have a contractor install new synthetic field turf on three athletic fields at the high school and replace the existing turf in the football stadium during its meeting Feb. 24.
Contractor Sprinturf will be awarded the $1.9 million contract to install the synthetic turf on the two practice fields north of the football stadium and the field of the Murray Field soccer stadium, as well as conduct drainage improvements prior to the installation.
Those three fields will comprise the first phase of the project said Carmel Athletics Director Jim Inskeep. Work on replacing them will begin in April and should hopefully be completed in June.
Inskeep said the work on replacing the stadium field will begin June 8 and be completed before the start of football practice in August.
The Carmel Dad’s Club will pay $400,000 toward the cost of the practice fields, and an agreement will allow them to use the fields when high school teams don’t have a need.
“We saw an opportunity here to help one another,” said Carmel Dad’s Club President Jack Beery.
Beery said that while grass fields often are unusable in late fall and early spring, the new turf fields will allow practice anytime the temperature is above 30 degrees.
The fields will also help:
● Avoid cancellations
● Prevent injuries
● Not tear up fields during practice
Beery also said that all sports will benefit from the turf. The practice fields will have permanent lacrosse, soccer and football lines, but they’ll be available for any team to practice on.
“The new turf practice fields will actually have the biggest impact on the multiple sports that will now be able to practice on a perfect surface,” said CHS football coach Kevin Wright. “All the turf fields allow the ability of traditional usage of about 60-80 hours a season to now being able to safely utilize those same fields 60-80 hours per week.”
“Since the football stadium and Murray Stadium are constantly being used, except when snow covered, by physical education classes, the CHS football, soccer, lacrosse and cross-country teams plus at times the swim club, CHS swimming, wrestling and track teams, CHS’ band, Carmel Dad’s Club, after school community activities and neighborhood kids, it is very difficult to maintain a safe grass surface,” said CHS girls soccer coach Frank Dixon. “Since many of those activities go on rain or shine, the grass fields develop ruts, bald spots and holes that lead to ankle sprains and other injuries including concussions.”
“Our kids will be playing on the safest surface out there which is huge in preventing injuries,” Wright said.
“The turf fields will definitely be an asset to both the school system and the community,” Dixon said.