EC Trojans Could Get Home Artificial Turf
By Mike Perleberg
East Central High School’s football field could get an artificial turf makeover. Photo by Mike Perleberg, Eagle Country 99.3.
(St. Leon, Ind.) – The reigning 4A state champion East Central Trojans could be practicing and playing home football games on artificial turf next season.
So could a number of other EC teams.
The Sunman-Dearborn Community Schools Board of Trustees could vote as soon as January to fund the installation of field turf at Trojan Field. Some board members may favor the idea.
“The possibility to install artificial turf at ECHS has been openly discussed at three board meetings. At the most recent board meeting in November, the board directed me to bring more specific information to them in a formal proposal and recommendation,” says superintendent Andrew Jackson.
The topic was first brought up this past spring. However, board members wanted to first secure a new teacher contract with raises for the district’s educators. That goal was accomplished in October.
Jackson was asked by board members to gather information and costs on a turf field. Considering various options, the price tag could be between $650,000 and $950,000 – though an exact number will not be known until a final proposal is developed. The field would likely be paid for out of the school corporation’s rainy day fund, the superintendent says.
An artificial turf field would allow for more East Central teams to hold practices and events at Trojan field. The field was only used for varsity, reserve, and middle school football games a grand total of 38 times last school year.
“By upgrading the athletic field, we will be able to use the field year-round – literally increasing usage from 38 times a year to well over 200 times per year,” Jackson says.
He offered up an example of the high school band, which would be able to use the surface for evening practice and to hold a marching band invitational. With an artificial field available, East Central could host sectional tournaments for boys and girls soccer. Spring sports teams could practice there when their usual fields get too wet.
If the plan at Sunman-Dearborn goes through, East Central would be the second southeastern Indiana high school to add artificial turf. Lawrenceburg High School was the first to do so in 2015.
Earlier this year, taxpayers in the South Dearborn Community Schools district succeeded in stopping the school corporation’s plans to install artificial turf at the high school football field through a petition and remonstrance process. The project also included other upgrades and additions at South Dearborn High School.