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By Caitlin R. King
The Jersey County School Board held their regular monthly meeting on Wednesday, June 15, at the Unit Office, where they discussed a variety of topics regarding the district, the most notable among those being a presentation about potential turf athletic fields.
During their May meeting, Superintendent Brad Tuttle mentioned that the board last held serious discussions regarding the replacement of the existing soccer and football fields with turf in 2019. Tuttle cited the COVID-19 pandemic for why those conversations halted.
This month, however, the school board heard a presentation by James Cosgriff of Graham & Hyde Architects involving preliminary plans for the football and soccer fields’ replacements.
According to the preliminary plans, the Donald W. Snyder’s Sports Complex’s exterior would stay relatively unchanged. The mock-up shows plans for a new concession plaza replacing the existing concessions. A new concrete sidewalk would wrap around the north side of the football field. The existing track would be resurfaced. The existing high jump would be demolished and rebuilt just west of its current location to better accommodate the supervision of track and field events.
The football field would be resurfaced with a “football turf blend,” with the primary painted lines allowing for football to be played, with the secondary painted lines allowing for soccer games to be played on the field.
According to the budget estimate from Graham & Hyde, the proposed plans for a new turf football field would cost an estimated $1.42 million.
The turf blend itself would cost $392,000 to cover the roughly 80,000 square foot surface. Costs to prepare the field for turf installation totals to $305,000. The field drainage system would cost $88,000, and the storm water detention system would cost another $85,000. The high jump would cost $78,000 to replace, and the concrete sidewalk on the north side of the field would cost $61,100.
Moving across town to the high school complex, the soccer field is a bit of a different story. The existing soccer field behind JCHS is built over a pipe-culvert, and although the field is built up from the roads surrounding it, the grounds would need more work done to them to prepare for the turf installation.
The existing field and running track would need to be demolished, which the budget estimates would cost $104,500 to accomplish. Additional costs to prepare the field for turf installation totals to $277,400. The total cost to prepare the field for the turf installation is $381,900.
The field drainage system would cost $100,700, and the storm water detention system would cost another $85,000. The soccer field also requires repairs to the existing storm water pipe, which would cost $40,000 to update. The concrete curb around the field would cost $72,800.
Despite the soccer field’s larger surface area of roughly 97,000 square feet, the cost of the turf blend costs a tad less than the football field, at $370,500.
According to the budget estimate from Graham & Hyde, the proposed plans for a new turf soccer field would cost an estimated $1.64 million.
Following Cosgriff’s presentation and some discussion, the board voted unanimously to hear bids for the construction of the turf fields. Later this summer, during their August meeting, the board will discuss those bids and make their decision.
If it all goes to plan, work on both fields would begin and go concurrently at the end of the fall football and soccer seasons and be ready for spring soccer season.
The board of education meets once a month, typically the third Thursday of the month at 6:30 p.m. at 100 Lincoln Ave in Jerseyville, Ill., with public viewing beginning at 7 p.m.. The board’s next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, August 18. More information about the school board can be found on the district website, jersey100.org.