B-UHS set to replace turf

Surface is 11 years old, project will cost $350-400k

FRENCH CREEK — The Field for the Future committee raised over a million dollars over a decade ago to install turf at the Freal “Red” Crites Memorial Stadium at B-UHS.

Now in its 11th season, the turf has began to show its age and is at the time recommended to be replaced, according to Superintendent Roy Wager at Tuesday’s board of education meeting. “If you have been at a game, you can see where the lines are fading on the turf.”

FieldTurf representatives have also pointed out some dips in the turf. FieldTurf, the company who installed the field, and Buckhannon-Upshur High School officials are negotiating now on replacement.

The replacement cost is estimated at just under $400,000, but Wager said the company is offering a deal if they can do the project immediately after this football season during their slow period.

Wager said school officials believe the cost will be closer to $350,000 and are seeking community donations to cover what is not in the turf replacement fund.

The turf replacement fund, which gets $1 from every ticket sold at sporting events at the high school, has amassed approximately $320,000.

Wager said that makes the turf replacement project very doable, provided donations can be received to cover the gap.

The turf replacement fund would then start from scratch again.

Wager added that the $320,000 figure does not include money from this season.

Wager said the field design would change slightly starting with the Buccaneer in the center. It would be replaced by the B-U design that also adorns the middle of the gymnasium floor.

Wager said this recommendation was made because lacrosse also uses the turf in the spring and their playing field calls for a circle in the middle of the field.

The end zones would be striped to give a different appearance as well, according to Wager.

Board vice president Alan Suder commented that B-UHS was one of the first schools in the region to get turf and may be able to receive an added discount from promoting FieldTurf to other schools.

“Almost everybody now has turf, except for Lewis County,” he said.

Wager said all the credit goes to the Field for the Future turf committee, which steered the project and raised the money, including the major donation from the Crites family.

“I will have other counties call and ask, ‘How did you get your turf?’” Wager said. “I say, ‘You know what, that was all on our citizens, who raised $1 million.’”

Wager said final numbers will be brought to a future board meeting for approval. The next regular meeting will be Oct. 24 at 6 p.m. at Washington District Elementary School.  Local School Improvement Council and Faculty Senate reports will continue.

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