Turf testing

Buzz Splittgerber of Buzz Turf uses a GMax testing device to measure the absorption of the High School Road synthetic fields earlier this month.

The triad of turf fields in the school facility complex in West Jackson may be covered in snow, but officials are already thinking about replacing them come springtime.

Teton County School District No. 1 Trustee Bill Scarlett told his school board colleagues last week that the Teton County Recreation District would be able to help facilitate their replacement.

“It’s going to be somewhere between $1.2 million and $1.5 million, I believe,” Scarlett told the board last Wednesday. “We should take the high end of that.”

Using Scarlett’s figures, the school board would need roughly $900,000, because it has earmarked $600,000 in grant money for the turf field replacement. The Rec District board chairman, Scarlett said the district would likely be able to provide the $900,000.

The two turf soccer fields at Jackson Hole High School and the one in the football stadium were installed in 2006. Fields are generally considered to have a 10-year usable life, and the most recent testing done by Teton County/Jackson Parks and Recreation showed heightened potential for concussions and other injuries. An evaluation done by Shaw Testing in 2014 revealed that more rubber crumb infill, which creates shock absorption capacity, could not be added due to the condition of the field.

The Rec District has about $1.8 million in its coffers, in part because the school board — which oversees it — increased the property tax levy it collects from 0.45 mills to 0.9 this summer, doubling its revenue. Scarlett said the Rec District could grant the school district the remaining funds it needs for the replacement.

Entities around Teton County use Rec District funds, which are awarded in a grant cycle in the spring. The money is meant to help nonprofits and government agencies put on “recreation programs,” though the term has been loosely interpreted in the past, according to discussions in school board meetings. As a grant applicant, the school district could ask for the $900,000 it would need.

First, it needs to send a request for proposals to nail down the price of the replacement. Scarlett said the Rec District and school board would ask Assistant Superintendent of Operations Jeff Daugherty to outline the request.

“May 15 is the deadline for grant applications,” Scarlett said. “Time is of the essence to go forward with the RFP.”

News&Guide’s COVID-19 coverage provided free to the community
With the support of existing subscribers, web stories during this public health danger are free to all readers with a goal of supporting the maximal flow of current information that’s verified and edited for publication. In times like these, journalism is crucial to its community. The News&Guide relies on its subscribers and advertisers to underwrite its news mission. Please support our mission: subscribe today.

Contact Tom Hallberg at 732-7079 or thallberg@jhnewsandguide.com.

Tom Hallberg covers a little bit of everything, from skiing to long-form feature stories. A Teton Valley, Idaho, transplant by way of Portland and Bend, Oregon, he spends his time outside work writing fiction, splitboarding and climbing.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Please note: Online comments may also run in our print publications.
Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Please turn off your CAPS LOCK.
No personal attacks. Discuss issues & opinions rather than denigrating someone with an opposing view.
No political attacks. Refrain from using negative slang when identifying political parties.
Be truthful. Don’t knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be proactive. Use the “Report” link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with us. We’d love to hear eyewitness accounts or history behind an article.
Use your real name: Anonymous commenting is not allowed.