NFL grant means Butler County’s latest high school getting artificial turf for football stadium

April 15 – Butler County’s high school artificial turf club has a new member thanks to the NFL.

Madison Schools will start the next school year with the district’s first artificial turf field, thanks in part to a recent grant of US $ 133,000 to replace one of the few remaining natural turf fields in the region.

The nearly $ 1 million plastic lawn Madison has been looking for since her historic entry into the state soccer playoffs in 2017 will be installed by the time classes begin in August, school officials said.

Only New Miami Schools in Butler County, which has one of the smallest enrollments in the area, will have a turf sports field after Madison installs the new turf.

“This NFL grant, along with generous donations from some wonderful community benefactors, made the dream of a Madison turf field a reality,” said Lisa Tuttle-Huff, Madison superintendent.

Premier Health, owner of Atrium Medical Center in Middletown, donated $ 300,000 for a new field in 2019.

“We hope to start working in the field as soon as we graduate. Raising funds for a turf field has become more difficult given the economic conditions of recent years. The lawn committee, headed by (former member of the Madison School Board ) Chad Norvell worked hard and raised nearly a million dollars in less than two years, “said Tuttle-Huff.

Artificial greening of high school fields in the area is a revolution in its second decade and continues as some local high school schools – including Lakota West, Lakota East, Hamilton, Fairfield, and Monroe – are on their second generation of turf fields.

The youngest newcomer to grass fields in 2019 was Ross Schools.

There are good reasons the fields are so popular, said Scott Kaufman, sports director of Lakota West and one of the preparation sports veterans in Southwest Ohio.

“Artificial turf has become the standard for high schools in recent years. When you think back to the old days of lawns, some of the nicest facilities in a school district could only be used once or twice a week by a single team, if you were hoping to Keeping grass on it throughout the season, “Kaufman said.

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Thanks to the drastically reduced costs for field maintenance and year-round availability, the fields are far superior to old-fashioned grass surfaces.

The plastic turf is expensive to first install – typically between $ 1 million and $ 2 million – because of the complex drainage and cushioning system buried underneath.

“Thanks to our (field) engagement, we can now use it around the clock – including physical education, community use and multiple teams. The consistency of the playing surface also taught us that we minimize injuries and other things.” like sprained ankles, shin splints, etc, which were more common on natural surfaces due to the hardness of the ground, grass buildup or uneven surfaces, “he said.

The Fairfield Schools now have two artificial turf fields with their original – the Fairfield Alumni Stadium – on the field of the second generation.

“In 2021, a turf field is valuable not just for school but for the community as a whole. We are blessed to have two turf fields that not only house many of our sports programs, but also provide performance space for a marching band, Fairfield youth leagues and OHSAA playoffs -Games, “said Aaron Blankenship, Fairfield Schools sports director.

“And as great as the natural grass fields look, with a grass field we can focus our energy on other projects instead of worrying about the daily maintenance of a lawn,” said Blankenship.

For Madison, the new turf will be a big game changer, said Kelley Brandel, a local fundraising committee official.

“If the schedule and the weather permit, we hope the field will be ready for our athletes by the start of the sporting season in the fall,” said Brandel.

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