Home > Hatboro-Horsham School District > Offcials Research Possible Artificial Turf for Hatters Stadium

Offcials Research Possible Artificial Turf for Hatters Stadium

January 27, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

The Public Spirit/Globe Times Chronicle

In order to improve the safety of student athletes and more effectively use the district’s playing fields, the Hatboro-Horsham School District is researching the possibility of installing a turf field in Hatter’s Stadium, a press release from the district stated.

Working with ELA Sport, an athletic facilities design and consulting firm, the school board presented a sketch plan to Horsham Township Council at its meeting Monday in the hopes of receiving a waiver from the land development process because it already drafted a storm-water management plan that meets the township’s ordinance requirements. According to the district, it was granted unanimously.

With the waiver, the school district has five years to complete the project.

Potential funding sources for the project include rental fees, state and federal grants, private funding, advertising as well as monies from the capital reserve fund.

“We want to make sure our student athletes are competing on safe surfaces as well as maintain the same level of diversity and equity in our athletic programs that we currently have,” Assistant Superintendent John Nodecker said in the release. “In order to do that it has become necessary to examine upgrades and options for improve our existing fields. At the same time, we need to remain conscious of the economic challenges facing our district and provide the board with cost-effective solutions that will meet student needs.”

The research is part of a long-range plan that is meant to accomplish three goals — improve the safety of the district’s student athletes, effectively accommodate the district’s athletic events and practices in an equitable manner for both boys and girls as well as maintain fiscal responsibility.

Hatters Stadium hosts 85 events per year, but the maximum suggested number is 55. Similarly the baseball and softball fields host 140 games per year when the maximum suggested use is 55.

As a result, the district has had to move athletic practices indoors or in parking lots, rent space at a nearby facility and reschedule certain home events to other schools.

“The reason we are considering turf is because it can handle more wear and tear than natural fields and it is playable even in weather conditions that might otherwise make a surface dangerous,” Nodecker continued.

Republished with the permission of The Public Spirit/Globe Times Chronicle

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