Carmel Dad’s Club president Jack Beery and Carmel Clay Schools Asst. Supt. Roger McMichael have proposed a new capital funding project that will provide artificial turf for two practice fields north of the Carmel High School stadium.
School board discussions considering a partnership between CCS and Carmel Dad’s Club should produce a written proposal by the August meeting.
“Over the last five years, we’ve improved our programming by improving our facilities,” Beery said. He explained Dad’s Club had “identified a need for (more) field turf” because sports programs extend into December while “natural fields get damaged by heavy rains and can’t be used.”
Beery also pointed out artificial turf not only prolongs the playing season but prevents injuries.
CHS Athletic Director Jim Inskeep confirmed installing artificial turf in the football stadium increased use by high school programs and the community.
“The major benefits of expanding artificial turf projects involves the sheer number of students served in Clay township,” Inskeep said.
Inskeep believes turfing the two practice fields would particularly benefit the Lacrosse program of Clay Township with the hopes lacrosse will “eventually be included at the high school at varsity level.”
Beery added Dad’s Club would “like to evaluate the practice fields for baseball and softball, too.”
McMichael emphasized turfing the practice fields would benefit “not just athletic programs, but also physical education and performing arts such as the marching band.”
“We don’t want to permanently stripe the fields,” McMichael said. “We’d like to use temporary stripes to allow for more activities.”
Beery proposed Dad’s Club would provide “a strong financial investment in helping this happen.”
Beery and McMichaels agreed discussions included Dad’s Club providing the monetary equivalent of turf for one of the practice fields while the Capital Project Fund would pay for the second.
McMichaels reminded the Board of past partnerships with the Dad’s Club.
“Dad’s Club contributed $500,000 toward the high school field house and pool projects in the 90s,” he said.
McMichaels mentioned long-range plans for artificial turf at the middle schools. He said installation costs include addressing water drainage issues.