A Private School Experience in a Public School Setting

Info-Artificial Playing Surface

OVERVIEW

The Board of Education, over the course of the last several years, has been developing plans and exploring options to install a multi-purpose athletic field at the Lyme Street campus with an artificial playing surface. Much research, thought, and community input have shaped these plans as we look at what best serves the long-term needs of our students and community.

As interest in this project grows, provided below is additional background and research that has helped shape the direction of current plans as well as provides a history of decisions and public forums to date. We are sharing links to recent studies from established and unbiased organizations, recognizing that there are hundreds of studies and varying viewpoints available.  We hope the information below is helpful in fully understanding this project. As always, we welcome questions and feedback from the community.

Overview of Project
CT Department of Public Health, Artificial Turf Fields Overview

CONSIDERATIONS

Field Use

Use of our current fields is highly weather dependent. In early spring, fields are wet and muddy and are unable to be used for physical education classes or for spring sports practice. In the event of rain, our fields are closed, resulting in increased cancellations and rescheduling of practices and games. Athletic fields are closed during the summer due to lack of water.

Our fields are overused, averaging 25-68 hours of use per week between physical education classes and athletics. Suggested maximum usage for good quality grass fields is 20-24 hours per week.

A synthetic playing surface allows for outdoor physical education classes and practices for much of the school year, while also accommodating simultaneous usage. Additionally, use of fields could be extended to outside community groups.

Field Use Info

Water Usage

Limited water supply has been a challenge in maintaining our grass playing surfaces for many years. A pump installed in 2019 allows us to use a limited amount of pond water to supplement our irrigation efforts. While helpful, we have had to purchase tanker trucks of water to maintain the fields for the last several years.  Continued purchases could cost up to $32,000 per year. 

Irrigation Demand vs. Water Usage

Safety

The synthetic playing surface would utilize a crumb-rubber infill. This is a recycled product that research has shown to have little to no-known impact on health. The project area has been assessed for any environmental concerns, including considerations of near-by wetlands, as a part of the planning process.

EPA Research on Recycled Tire Crumb Material
DEEP Risk Assessment
CT Department of Health
Milone & MacBroom Environmental Letter
Milone & MacBroom Wetlands Letter

Return on Investment

The cost of the project is proposed to be in the range of $2  -  2.1 million dollars and would be funded through the district’s undesignated fund which is completely separate from the operating budget and therefore would not impact the annual budget. 

Synthetic fields do not require any maintenance and generally last for at least 15 years before requiring a resurfacing of the top layer.

Additional information to be added soon.

SCHOOL BOARD MEETINGS, FORUMS, AND NEWSLETTERS 

April 2017 Multipurpose Field Committee Meeting Minutes

May 2017 Multipurpose Field Committee Meeting Minutes

June 2017 Multipurpose Field Committee Meeting Minutes.

November 2019 Focus on Education Update

December 2019 Milone & McBroom Presentation to Board

May 2020 Inland Wetlands Commission Approval

September 2020 Zoning Commission Minutes

October 2020 Public Forum  Passcode: e$DKrf14 

NEWS COVERAGE

October 2019 CT Examiner Article

November 2019 CT Examiner Article

November 2019 CT Examiner Article

December 2019 LymeLine Article

December 2019 CT Examiner Article

May 2020 CT Examiner Article

September 2020 LymeLine Article

September 2020 CT Examiner Article

October 2020 LymeLine Article

October 2020 CT Examiner Article