The installation of artificial turf on Cobb’s high school football fields began shortly after the judge gave the go-ahead. Many schools were looking forward to having multi-use fields. The bid to install the fields was won by Cobb-based Deluxe Athletics for $9.3 million. This included installation cost and maintenance for eight years.
The immediate benefit to having artificial turf replace grass fields is the savings in water use, pesticides fertilizer and mowing. During the first year when nine fields had been installed, Cobb’s school system saw a 14 percent decrease in its irrigation bill. In July and August 2012 after all fields had been installed, the system realized a 28 percent reduction in the water bill.
Schools spokesman Jay Dillon told me in an email of another big benefit. He wrote, “One of the most significant improvements the schools have observed is that the fields are now open to a much wider range of use throughout the day.”
This is echoed by Walton High School football coach, Rocky Hidalgo. Coach Hidalgo told me his field is used during every period of the day now for physical education classes. The band uses it, soccer teams use it, and no football games have to be cancelled because of rain. “The installation has been a tremendous investment by Cobb County – every area of our school has been improved,” he said.
More use, less cost. Sounds like a winner to me.
Craig Allen has lived in Cobb County for 10 years. Reach him at email@example.com