NEW ALBANY —
FIELD MAINTENANCE REDUCED
During the course of a football season, a football field requires lots of time and care to keep it in good shape. In the meantime, the labor and material costs mount up with that maintenance.
Going to synthetic turf is expected to reduce that field maintenance significantly. The switch will eliminate mowing the field and painting yard lines and sidelines prior to each home game.
“The reduction of maintenance costs will allow us to save money. There will be less manpower needed,” Floyd Central athletic director Jeff Cerqueira said. “[The synthetic field] is a huge initial investment, but in the long run, it’s cost effective and it gets the community involved.”
Glesing sees the economical benefits in switching to synthetic turf.
“I think it’s cost neutral,” Glesing said. “It’s low maintenance. It saves on gas. You don’t have to paint it every week and you don’t have to water it.”
NOT JUST FOR VARSITY FOOTBALL
The varsity football teams at Floyd Central, New Albany and Providence will not be the only athletic squads or school organizations at their respective schools using the synthetic turf fields.
Providence plans on using the new surface many times.
Starting next fall, the Pioneers’ boys’ and girls’ soccer teams will move from adjacent Memorial Field, which has grass, to Murphy Stadium and play their home games on the synthetic turf. In addition, both teams will share practice time on the new turf with the football program.
The Pioneers’ junior varsity and junior high football teams will host games on the synthetic field, and Golembeski expects New Albany Deanery teams to play games on it as well.
With both soccer teams playing at Murphy Stadium, Golembeski says Memorial Field can be turned into a baseball-only park. Plans are being made to move the Memorial Field fence closer to home plate for the Pioneers’ baseball team next season.
The Floyd Central marching band will be using the new turf at Ron Weigleb Stadium to practice their halftime shows during the week. Also, youth football teams in Floyd County are expected to play games on the surface.
“The community can have Little League football there. The band can practice there,” Cerqueira said.
Cerqueira also mentioned the turf can be used for Highlander boys’ and girls’ soccer matches if necessary. The FCHS soccer fields, which are located behind Weigleb Stadium, have been flooded in the past because of heavy rain. If a situation like that happens, Cerqueira says the football field fits all the requirements for soccer.
New Albany’s junior varsity and freshman teams will have home games on the new surface at Buerk Field along with Hazelwood Middle School’s seventh- and eighth-grade football team. Those three teams also will share the new turf with the Bulldogs’ varsity squad for practice.
Unruh says the synthetic turf field at Buerk Field will provide more space than the current practice field, which is located just north of the football stadium on the NAHS campus. New Albany and Hazelwood also shares the current practice field.
“It gives us more space to practice. It will double the space that we do have,” Unruh said.
Unruh and Golembeski also pointed out that the synthetic turf will allow other teams like baseball to use the field for practice when weather is bad in the spring.