The Journal Gazette
Wednesday, December 15, 2021 1:00 am

Homestead soccer field could soon be synthetic

ASHLEY SLOBODA | The Journal Gazette

The Southwest Allen County Schools board didn't cry foul Tuesday about an administrator's request to seek proposals for a new synthetic high school soccer field.

The five members unanimously approved 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 acting as project manager on the $169 million Homestead High School renovation, noted Sprinturf installed the district's synthetic football/band fields.

He and others expect the soccer field upgrade will cost $1 million to $1.5 million. Coplen assured the board the synthetic surface won't lead to 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 the proposals, Coplen said, and the district can request interviews with each company. Materials, experience and pricing will contribute to the selection process.

Under the request for proposal process, “we are not required to choose the lowest price proposal, but rather the best solution for our circumstances,” Coplen said in documents provided to the board.

Coplen previously discussed a possible soccer field upgrade with the board in January. At that time, the board was told natural turf is difficult to maintain because of poor drainage and soil conditions, and the ongoing issue could only be solved with remodeling the current base, drainage and playing surface.

The competition field hasn't benefited from any major upgrades since the initial build in the mid-1990s, the board was previously told.

The contract for the turf field installation includes new perimeter fencing, Coplen said Tuesday.

Projects not included in the turf installation scope include new scoreboards and sound systems for the soccer and football stadiums; a new soccer ticket booth; and fencing in and around the soccer and football stadium areas to be consistent with the overall campus plan.

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