CANDLER COUNTY, GA (WTOC) - High school football season may be months away, but one local school is spending big bucks on their stadium to save money in the long run.
The field at Metter High School will look distinctively different this fall as the natural grass gives way to something more modern.
The bulldozer blade scraped the grass and inches of soil to make way for an artificial turf. School leaders say they started looking at the upgrade when they built a school for middle schoolers next to the high school. They now have three football teams and two soccer teams playing on the field, and upkeep for the grass gets more and more expensive.
The school board chairman tells WTOC the artificial turf and the hardware underneath will cost $800,000, but re-sodding the field to try and get a better surface would have cost $400,000 by itself. He thinks the turf will be safer and cheaper to maintain in the long run.
“The saying is, ‘this is not your father’s artificial turf.’ Tremendous improvements have been made. They play on it with a 3/4 inch cleat, same as they would on natural turf,” said Craig Lanier, Candler County BOE, Chairman.
He says the turf saves time for coaches who are forced to mow the grass and chalk the field every week. It can also withstand heavy rains without mud and mush. He estimates it will be finished over the summer before players return for pre-season camp.
Lanier and others predict more and more schools going to this option over the next few years.