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The truth about the Goodrich turf

October 13, 2010 - Dear Editor,

(In response to,"School bond projects to include artificial turf," The Citizen, Oct. 9, page 4):

I just wanted to submit a few details and facts regarding the artificial turf idea being proposed for Goodrich in the school bond.

After speaking with the sales director from the company that installed every single NFL practice field, and to turf supplier companies that were a great source of frank and honest information, we learned the following:

• The turf lasts about 7-8 years before it needs to be replaced, and will begin to fade in just a few years. This can be verified by going and looking at a couple of fields in the area that were installed fairly recently.

• It costs at least $750,000 to install a field, and about $600,000 to replace the turf on an existing turf field.

• The sales director we talked to said he didn't know of any field that was over 10-years-old and still in service.

Now maybe NFL practice fields get more wear and tear than a high school practice field, I'm not sure. Maybe they get less since they are used by one team, as opposed to a high school where a number of teams would be using it.

If the current field costs $40,000 per year, after 10 years, total cost would be $400,000, which is substantially less than the cost of a turf field, so the current field looks to be a pretty good deal. In addition, the funds for a new turf field would be paid to an outside company/supplier, while the costs for the current field are paid locally for labor and supplies to maintain it, and the money is put back into the community, instead of to an outside source.

So even if the life of the turf was somehow stretched to 15 years, and even if we somehow found a deal to have the installation "only" cost $600,000 - and I have my doubts about both of those occuring based on my findings - that comes out to $40,000 per year, the same as our current cost. But if that same money is going to be spent either way, don't we want to keep it going back into our community?

Don Richmond

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