Pricey synthetic turf installations under way at SM East and SM North

Contractors are in the process of installing a new $975,000 synthetic turf practice field at SM East.
Contractors are in the process of installing a new $975,000 synthetic turf practice field at SM East.

When student athletes return to the field at SM East and SM North this coming school year, they’ll find brand new swaths of synthetic turf to practice on.

As part of the bond issue approved by district voters in January, both schools are having new synthetic turf installed on their practice fields. The district football stadium at SM North is also having its turf replace for the first time since 2006.

The projects aren’t cheap. At SM East, the cost of installing turf practice fields by the baseball and softball diamonds is $975,000. At SM North, the new turf practice field will be $734,000. It will cost an additional $449,000 to replace the existing turf inside the SM North District Stadium.

District spokeswoman Leigh Anne Neal said the practice fields will benefit students taking part in a wide variety of activities.

“Students involved in activities that include physical education classes, baseball, football, soccer, and softball will be able to practice or play on this field,” she said of the SM East project. “By designing the use of the single field to support multiple activities, the district realizes multiple fields within a single construction and design scope.”

The new turf is made of a material called Ramturf, which is produced and installed by ATG Sports out of Andover, Kan.