by Leslee Kulba
Wild West blogger
This article on artificial turf is a little different from most. It starts out with the usual cost analysis. Jackson County Schools’ Superintendent Mike Murray is considering declining a $200,000 grant from the NFL. He won’t do the artificial turf if it exceeds his $715,000 budget. Subtracting the NFL grant, he would spend $515,000 on the turf, which is supposed to last ten years. By contrast, the school system is spending $185,000 for ten years, at the current rate, on grass, but that doesn’t include striping, mowing, and capital investment.
Added to the argument are concerns about falling down and going boom and getting scraped on the stiff artificial turf. Added to that is a concern about cancer. At least one opponent charges the recycled tire crumbs backing the artificial turf are a carcinogen, but Coach Denny Wood argues the chemicals they use to get pretty, green herbal grass could be worse. There is a cork backing option for the turf, but the real reason for getting it sounds like growing capacity for athletics programs.