After nearly a decade of service, the Murray High School (MHS) football/soccer field is retiring. This field has been foundational to safe athletic participation for thousands of students and activities since 2012.
“It has served us well,” said David Roberts, director of Murray City School District Facilities, “But we are excited to welcome a new state-of-the-art surface that will better protect our kids and require less water for cooling.”
According to Roberts, the lifespan of the nine-year-old turf was 8-10 years, while the new surface is expected to last 9-12 years, depending on usage factors. For at least the last year, the old surface was showing a progessive loss of integrity, clearly “shedding” material even on the shoes of someone casually strolling across it.
Structural integrity and the breakdown of artificial turf is a serious safety concern, according to Roberts.
Experts reviewing the wear on the MHS field determined that the impact rating was compromised and showing significant signs it was ready to call it quits. Newer surfaces are critical to protection against head injuries, specifically concussions which can have a lifetime impact on a student’s ability to learn and grow.
The new field will feature CoolPlay technology to help combat excessive field temperatures, which can be up to 35 degrees warmer than normal grass or the CoolPlay turf. Using new infill material and silica sand, this cooling technology should help to keep the synthetic field 15-25 degrees cooler, while saving more than a million gallons of water each year.
“This is especially important in Utah where we are facing serious drought issues,” said Roberts. “Our older surface required some measure of watering to keep the surface cool on hot days when our athletes were practicing or playing. This new surface has better technology that nearly eliminates that need.”
Artificial turf also contributes to better air quality as it never needs a gas mower to keep it trim.
The complete rollout of the new surface will be finished before the end of July – just in time for the MHS football and soccer teams to begin using it for fall practices.