By Rick Palsgrove
Though the new $750,000 synthetic turf playing surface at Groveport Madison High School’s Cruiser Stadium was installed just last summer, the Groveport Madison Board of Education is planning for the day in the future when it will need to be refurbished.
Groveport Madison Treasurer John Walsh said the turf, which the district obtained through a financial donation by 2010 graduate and NFL star running back Le’Veon Bell, has an estimated life span of about 10 years.
On Dec. 13, the school board approved establishing an athletic field maintenance fund to start saving money to refurbish the field sometime in the future.
The fund already includes $250,000, which Walsh said was transferred from the Cruiser Academy Settlement. This arose from an agreement with the Ohio Department of Education regarding changing Cruiser Academy from a charter school to a regular school under the district’s control. Cruiser Academy serves as a drop out prevention school.
Walsh said the district plans to add an estimated $30,000 a year to the fund to build it up.
“Like in life, unless you identify the money and put it away, it will be spent,” said Walsh.
Groveport Madison Superintendent Bruce Hoover added, “This assures that the money will be there when we need it.”
Groveport Madison Deputy Superintendent John Hurd said it could cost an estimated $415,000 to refurbish the turf when the time comes. The refurbishment would be necessary due to the normal wear and tear the field will experience over the coming years.
Hurd said, because the base for the synthetic turf is already in place, the refurbishment would involve removing the existing rubber layer and the synthetic grass layer and replacing them.