School officials and a volunteer group have secured the financial backing needed to equip Vernon Hills High School's football field with artificial turf.
The final piece of the roughly $800,000 puzzle came from the Vernon Hills Park District, which has pledged $100,000 toward the project in exchange for reserved time on the field.
The Libertyville-Vernon Hills Area High School District 128 board approved the deal this week.
"The Vernon Hills Park District's generous contribution to the (turf) effort will ensure completion of the project, significantly broaden and increase district use of the field and will also provide for a broad range of community access (to) the field," District 128 Superintendent Prentiss Lea said in a news release.
A volunteer group called Project Turf has raised $390,000 from governmental agencies, businesses, school support groups and residents.
Additionally, the school board has pledged to contribute $300,000 toward the project. That sum had been set aside to spruce up the grass field this year.
The balance of the money needed for the work will come from lease revenue generated by a cell tower and three antennas at the high school, officials said.
The field has had the same natural playing surface since the stadium opened in 2002. Because it requires less maintenance and lasts longer than grass, artificial turf is expected to allow more games and activities on the field.
District 128 officials have sought proposals from firms for the Vernon Hills project, but those offers have not yet been made public.
Officials hope to install the turf before the fall football season.
Vernon Hills High's sister school, Libertyville High, has had an artificial turf football field since 2005. A community group raised $650,000 for that project.
Lake Zurich, Grant in Fox Lake and Carmel Catholic in Mundelein are among the other Lake County high schools with artificial turf fields. One is being installed at Mundelein High ahead of the fall football season.