- Arlington County Board approves $670,638 contract
- APS to share cost
- Heavily used field will be ready for fall sports
The Arlington County Board today approved a contract for $670,638 to replace Washington-Liberty High School’s synthetic turf field, which is used for school and community football, soccer, lacrosse, field hockey and other sports.
“Arlington’s turf fields have proven their value,” said Arlington County Board Chair Mary Hynes. “Because these fields can be used year-round, they help us in our efforts to meet the ever-growing demand from athletes of all ages in Arlington for places to play team sports. The current Washington-Liberty field has served tens of thousands of residents in the past decade. This replacement will ensure that it will serve many, many more in the years to come.”
Field ready for fall sports
The Board voted unanimously (5 to 0) as part of the consent agenda to award the contract to GTR Turf, Inc. The new synthetic turf field will be similar to that installed last summer at Wakefield High School. The field will be lined for a variety of sports – football, soccer, men’s lacrosse, women’s lacrosse and field hockey – each in a different color. This is standard for multi-use sports fields. The “W-L” logo will be featured in the center of the field and “Generals” will be stitched into both end zones, with Arlington Public Schools (APS) paying a share of the field’s cost. Under a Memorandum of Understanding, the county will pay 60 percent and APS will pay 40 percent.
Shock-absorbing pad will reduce concussions
The turf will be the same blend of monofilament and slit film fibers, with a sand and crumb rubber infill that has been so successfully used for the past 10 years. But the new turf will be under-laid with a shock-absorbing pad, which has been proven to reduce the number and severity of concussions. Arlington County and APS are committed to reducing concussions in young athletes and plan to use shock-absorbing pads under fields where contact sports, such as football, are played.
Construction is planned to begin the first week in June and be completed in early August. The project is funded by the FY 2015 Parks Capital Maintenance Program.
Arlington and synthetic turf fields
Arlington’s high-use fields use an infill, synthetic turf surface, which also provides a high level of performance. They are installed by certified professionals and adhere to Synthetic Turf Council Guidelines for crumb rubber infill. Arlington’s synthetic turf fields are tested annually to be sure they meet or exceed national standards for their ability to absorb shock and reduce impact.
The initial investment for the installation of a full-size synthetic turf field is more costly – about $700,000, compared to $70,000–$125,000 – for a high-quality, natural grass field. However, natural grass fields are much more expensive to maintain over the field’s life and a synthetic turf field can support as much as five times the amount of play as grass, even in bad weather, without degrading the field.
To read the staff report on this project, visit the County website. Scroll down to Item #24 on the Regular Agenda for the April 18, 2015 Board Meeting.