The Southwest Allen County Schools Board did not cry foul on Tuesday over a trustee’s request to solicit proposals for a new synthetic football field at the high school.
All five members unanimously endorsed Jim Coplen’s suggestion to get proposals from Sprinturf, Motz Group and FieldTurf – companies with a history of successful installations in northern Indiana.
Coplen, the SACS employee serving as the project manager for Homestead High School’s $169 million renovation, noted that Sprinturf had installed the district’s synthetic football/strip turfs.
He and others expect the football field upgrade to cost between $1 million and $1.5 million. Coplen assured the board that the synthetic surface would not result in new taxes.
“The money to pay for this has already been bonded,” he said, referring to the Homestead renovation bond issue.
District staff and design professionals will review proposals, Coplen said, and the district may request interviews with each company. Materials, experience and price will contribute to the selection process.
As part of the RFP process, “we are not required to choose the lowest priced proposal, but rather the best solution for our situation,” Coplen said in documents provided to the board.
Coplen previously discussed a possible football pitch upgrade with the board in January. At that time, the board was told that natural grass was difficult to maintain due to poor drainage and poor ground conditions, and the lingering problem could only be solved by reshaping the base, the current drainage and playing surface.
The competition area has not benefited from any major upgrades since the initial construction in the mid-1990s, the board was told.
The contract for the turf field installation includes a new perimeter fence, Coplen said Tuesday.
Projects not included in the scope of turf installation include new scoreboards and sound systems for soccer and football stadiums; a new football ticket office; and fencing in and around the soccer and football stadium areas to be consistent with the overall campus plan.