RPS205 lays new turf on high school football fields - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

RPS205 lays new turf on high school football fields

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The two stadiums that all four Rockford public high schools call home during the football season get a facelift.

It's a tale of two greens. The first, new synthetic turf for District 205's high school football fields at Auburn and Guilford making them a premier venue in the NIC-10 conference.

It takes another kind of green to pay for all the upgrades; green that district administration say is money well spent.

"With these stadiums, they're used by four high schools. And then it's also a P. E. station for the individual high schools that they need throughout the course of the school year. So we felt that this was one of our priorities that we needed to address," said Todd Schmidt, District 205 Chief Operations Officer.

Between the two stadiums the district will be spending more than $2.5 million. That's cause for concern for some who spoke out to us on Facebook.

Stacey Smith Giglio pointed out that it wasn't long ago 205 was talking about cutting back sports due to a lack of money.

According to District 205 Chief Operations Officer Todd Schmidt revenues from property taxes as well as budget efficiencies allowed for administration to go forward with the upgrades.

"We knew that we would have some additional funding for this year, so we budgeted that in there to do the repairs on the stadiums."

Bob Blahnik thinks the upgrades are a good idea considering the amount of use each field sees.

Schmidt says that with the changes, both Wyeth and Swanson stadiums are now up to safety code based on standards set by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

"With the bleachers, it was up there because it was a safety issue. On a survey we had on some of the bleachers we had some deficiencies for life and health and safety," said Schmidt.

While turf may not relate directly to health or safety, in the long run costly upkeep and sprinkler installation would run up bills and have a shorter lifespan.

"With the field turf if was either re-sod it and re-sprinkler or put the synthetic turf."

Construction on both facilities is expected to be completed by Monday, August 13th, just in time for the football season which starts on the 24th.

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