District approves expenditure of $1.5 million for new turf fields at SM East, SM South and SM Northwest

The turf inside the track rings at SM East, SM South and SM Northwest will be replaced this summer.
The turf inside the track rings at SM East, SM South and SM Northwest will be replaced this summer.

The Shawnee Mission Board of Education on Monday approved expenditures of $1.5 million to replace the synthetic turf athletic fields inside the running tracks at SM East, SM Northwest and SM South.

The projects, which were included in the spending plan for the proceeds of the $223 million bond issue approved by voters in January 2015, will commence after school lets out this spring. Plans call for the turf fields replacement to be completed “during the fall of 2018.”

The SM East and SM South projects will each cost approximately $450,000. The SM Northwest project will be more expensive at $668,000 because it includes the relocation of track-and-field event jumping pits from the track area to a spot close to the tennis courts.

Executive Director of Facilities Bob Robinson said that the life expectancy for the new fields will be eight to 12 years.

The district has in recent years replaced nearly all of its secondary school practice fields with synthetic turf. SM East had a new synthetic turf field installed over its baseball and softball fields in 2015. SM North had its practice and football fields replaced the same year. SM West has had its football field replaced as well.

Robinson said that the final turf replacement project his department will be bringing before the board for approval in the coming months will be replacement of the fields at the district soccer complex adjacent to Westridge Middle School.