Editorials

Artificial turf is nice, but is it worth $3,000 per home game?

Highland High School’s Bulldogs will continue playing on grass after school board members decided it was too risky to rely on donations for $775,000 in artificial turf plus $500,000 for replacement in 10 years.
Highland High School’s Bulldogs will continue playing on grass after school board members decided it was too risky to rely on donations for $775,000 in artificial turf plus $500,000 for replacement in 10 years. BND file photo

The Highland school board could have easily followed the crowd and decided to spend $775,000 on artificial turf for its football stadium, as so many other local high schools have done.

They decided it just didn’t make sense.

“We have other higher pressing priorities,” board member Robert Miller said. “It would be something nice to have, and it would be a benefit to the district. But I think it just needs to be incorporated into the overall strategic plan and fit in with everything else when it comes cost-wise.”

Someone apparently did the math.

Artificial turf would have cost $775,000 and lasted a decade. They they would need to spend $500,000 to replace the turf.

Add up the number of varsity, junior varsity and freshman football games, then add in boys soccer (girls play at Glik Park) and there are only 26 home games. That would be a cost of nearly $3,000 per home game.

It sure doesn’t cost $3,000 to cut the grass before a game.

The plan was to raise the funds privately. Still, credit to Highland leaders for looking at costs beyond year 10 and deciding the financial liability and uncertainty of future funding were not worth the risk.

And credit for deciding classrooms and other educational needs take priority over upscale athletic fields.

  Comments