Five years after Destrehan and Hahnville high schools spent $2.6 million to install turf football fields, the turf failed and work will soon be underway to replace them.
“The replacement process is set to begin the end of May,” said John Rome, St. Charles Parish Public Schools’ executive director of physical plant services.
Nick Saltaformaggio, Hahnville head football coach, put the replacement start date at May 18, and said the project should be completed in four to six weeks depending on weather.
Removal of the turf involves rolling it up and “they have this big machine that shakes all the rubber pellets out it,” Saltaformaggio said. “Then they redistribute all the old pellets, put new rubber pellets down, smooth it all out and put the turf back down over it. And all the hash marks, numbers, our big H on the 50-yard line and end zones, that’s all sewn in and inlaid into the existing turf.”
In 2013, Rome told the St. Charles Herald-Guide they were having problems with deterioration of the fibers on the field’s playing surface. Those issues had to do with UV protection on the fibers of the turf not protecting it from the sun.
Turf distributor FieldTurf Tarkett confirmed prolonged sunshine caused the artificial turf to wear out sooner than expected.
Rome explained the majority of the cost for turf replacement would be covered under warranty by FieldTurf USA Inc., a subsidiary of FieldTurf Tarkett.
“The new turf represents an upgraded playing surface and a new eight-year warranty.” he said. FieldTurf USA will assume 70 percent of the replacement costs with the balance covered by the school district.
Rome estimated the FieldTurf USA cost at $350,000 per site and the school district’s share at $150,000.
“The remaining 30 percent of the cost to the district will be covered under the capital projects fund,” he said of funding set aside for the long-range plan for physical education and athletic facilities.