Bob Danaher, from Upper Dublin Junior Athletic Association, and Bryan Pollack, from Upper Dublin Soccer Club, presented the proposal from the township’s youth sports clubs to lay turf on Cardinal Stadium to the School Board on Monday night.
The already has plans to replace the track, which has been resurfaced twice and needs to be renovated for safety. The track is 25 years old.
Danaher said if the district doesn’t put turf on the field of Cardinal Stadium while replacing the track, the board might as well say they are not going to turf Cardinal Stadium.
He added that the process of laying turf requires a lot heavy equipment inside the stadium.
Danaher said the youth sports groups in the township have been raising funds for the past four years, and have raised $425,000, .
An original engineer’s report for the stadium and track, listed the turf for Cardinal Stadium as costing close to $1 million.
Danaher said a report showed there is 69 hours of community use of Cardinal Stadium each year. However, he added that 60 of those hours are for the special needs camp use, so only nine hours are true community use.
He anticipates that laying turf on the field will increase community use by many hundreds of hours.
He added that, considering the condition of fields at Sandy Run Middle School, it could be a location for the middle school football, field hockey, and soccer to play.
School Board Director, Joan Ludwig, asked the cost savings of a turf versus grass field on the stadium, and the replacement cost.
Danaher said there is accost savings, turf doesn’t need lining, mowing, fertilizing, or irrigating - equaling a considerable savings in materials and manpower. Turf has a lifecycle of 10 to 12 years, and Danaher said the district should reserve between $30,000 and $40,000 a year for replacement costs.
School Board Director Michael Resnick estimated that the project: track, turf, and the eventual need for new bleachers, will cost the district over $1.5 million, and asked, “How are we going to pay for it?”
Danaher also touched on the safety of a turf field, stating that under the turf is n E-layer, which is like a mattress, making the surface soft to fall on. He also said there is a fungicide that is supposed to be sprayed onto the field at least once a month to keep from spreading infection.
Board President, Joe Chmielewski, said the board could vote on the turf, as well as the track at their August 13 meeting. The board can decide to vote on bidding the turf, or simply the engineering.
Chmielewski said, “It’s in our best interest to have the project ready to go.”
The youth sports groups are paying for engineering, so there is no financial commitment if the school board decides to votes only to get engineering done on turf for Cardinal Stadium.