Lawrence school board to consider $3.6M FSHS, LHS turf replacement

The Lawrence High football field is pictured on Friday, Feb. 5, 2016.

Should the Lawrence school board give its blessing Monday, the synthetic turf on eight Free State High School and Lawrence High School athletic fields will be replaced this year.

At the Jan. 8 board meeting, Kyle Hayden, district chief operations officer, and Tony Barron, district executive director of facilities and operations, said the turf replacement on the fields would be part of the district’s $10.38 million 2018 capital improvement plan. The CIP with the turf replacement is on the board’s consent agenda for Monday.

Barron said the total cost to replace the turf on the baseball, softball, soccer and football fields of both high schools would be $3.675 million. The plan Barron shared with the board would have the district enter into a lease-to-own arrangement on the fields for $600,000 a year, starting with the current year.

The eight-year warranties have expired on all the turf fields, Barron said. The turf was installed with the construction of FSHS and LHS athletic fields and stadiums in 2008 and 2009, he said. LHS and FSHS teams started playing on the turf baseball fields in 2009.

The turf fields are showing wear from a decade of use in a variety of ways, especially in high-traffic areas, Barron said, and the condition can be expected to get worse.

School board president Shannon Kimball said she supported the turf replacement after a thorough discussion in the board’s facilities committee, on which she serves. A number of the fields are community assets, she said.

“We don’t have our football and soccer fields gated off,” she said. “That is almost unheard of.”

Barron said should the board approve the CIP with the turf replacement, the district would start replacing the turf on the fields this spring and summer.

The board will meet at 7 p.m. Monday at district offices, 110 McDonald Drive.