Amherst band, 1

In this July 2019 file photo, the Amherst County High School marching band practices at Lancer Stadium. 

A turf replacement project at Lancer Stadium could cost Amherst County Public Schools $451,472 or $640,019, depending on what option school officials choose to go with.

The artificial turf at Amherst County High School, which was first installed about 14 years ago, needs replacing and three companies submitted proposals to do so and install concrete curbing and a drainage system along its outer edge, according to Assistant Superintendent William Wells.

The proposals are broken into two options: the first is to replace existing turf and install concrete curbing and drainage along the edge at a cost of $451,472. The second involves spending another $188,547 to install turf in D-Zones, areas between the stadium’s track and end of the playing field, and put concrete curbing and drainage along all of the edges to include long and triple jump pits and the high jump area for track and field competition.

The Amherst County School Board reviewed the matter during its Nov. 14 meeting and is expected to take formal action in December. Board members weighed the costs and inquired about doing the second option at a later date.

“We anticipate an added cost if we come back later,” Wells said.

Expanding the turf to the D-Zones would enhance field maintenance so grass and soil doesn’t get on the turf and cause decay and also brings more practice areas for athletic teams that use the field, according to Wells.

Wells said the division is looking to have a facilities needs assessment done soon, a component in steering future decisions on the schools’ overall capital needs. Chairman Mike Henderson said he certainly favors the first option but expressed hesitation with pursuing the second one given the slate of needs and limited dollars for capital facility projects.

The division has a balance of about $850,000 for capital projects after recently taking out just more than $266,000 for planned to work to improve the entrance and reconfigure the main office at Amherst County High School in the interest of safety enhancement.

Henderson said he personally feels the board could possibly circle back around to install turf in the D-Zones at some point in the future.

“We have some other significant things,” Henderson said of capital projects. “There are things that are really needed ... There have been things on this list for a long time and we haven’t made headway.”

Wells said the new turf would be under warranty for eight years and its life expectancy is in the 12 to 15-year range. He described the turf the division plans to proceed with installing as the same kind of fields in National Football League and college football stadiums and complimented the quality.

“It’s one that’s going to last,” Wells said.

Wells brought a small patch of the turf to the meeting that the board looked at as it was passed around.

“This is an improved version of what we have now,” Wells said.

Reach Justin Faulconer at (434) 385-5551.

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Reach Justin Faulconer at (434) 385-5551.

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