Time for new turf at Barrington High School stadium? Advisory panel says yes

An advisory panel is backing the idea of installing new artificial turf at Barrington High School's stadium in time for the fall sports season.

The proposal, backed Thursday by Barrington Area Unit District 220's facilities committee, now must gain approval from the district's board. Formal board consideration of the plan, which would cost $550,000 to $750,000, is expected by March.

School board members Penny Kazmier and Joseph Ruffolo, who sit on the facilities committee, agreed with a recommendation from Assistant Superintendent of Business Services David Bein to pursue the project this summer.

Bein said the cost will only rise if officials wait another year.

"Let's get the benefit of a nice field that we know is going to be very playable," he said. "It's going to look good. It'll be safe. And let's get that in place."

Ruffolo said stadium visitors have told him the field "looks pretty ratty."

FieldTurf was installed as part of the new Barrington Community Stadium unveiled in August 2008. Used by many suburban schools, FieldTurf USA Inc.'s surface includes sand and rubber particles between plastic fibers in an effort to provide players better footing and shock absorption.

Barrington High School Athletic Director Mike Obsuszt said work on a new field could start in June and be ready for fall sports. Summer sports camps scheduled for the stadium could be moved to grass fields at the high school if conflicts arise.

Bein said estimates show removal of the current artificial turf would take one to two weeks, with four weeks for installation of the new surface. District 220 Superintendent Brian Harris said replacement would be easier than the initial installation, which included the sand and other elements.

"This is basically like re-carpeting your living room," Harris said. "You actually roll it up just like you do a carpet in a house."

Officials will conduct further research related to proposals with varying prices from FieldTurf, AstroTurf and other companies before making a recommendation to the school board. Bein received turf samples from some vendors, which he brought to Thursday's facilities committee session.

Soccer, football, lacrosse and other sports use Barrington Community Stadium. The stadium at the beginning of the 2018-19 school year received upgrades, such as a new main scoreboard, that were covered by private sponsorships totaling $650,000.

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  Barrington Area Unit District 220 board members Penny Kazmier, center, and Joseph Ruffolo, right, are on an advisory facilities committee that discussed installing new artificial turf at Barrington High School's outdoor stadium, Bob Susnjara/
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