District postpones Fishback turf replacement

The field has been deemed playable for the 2011-12 school year

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After completing repairs to the Fishback Stadium turf field and reevaluating its overall condition, the Washougal School District has decided not to replace it before the next school year.

“The district intends to study the condition of the turf throughout the next year and will look at possibly replacing it during the summer of 2012,” said Doug Bright, director of human resources, maintenance and operations.

The turf was installed almost nine years ago. Typically, a field can last from eight to 11 years, depending on how much it’s used.

“We had a number of experienced individuals involved in evaluating and installing turf give our turf good marks for the condition it is in,” Bright said. “However, we are reaching the end of the turf’s lifespan and will need to replace it in the near future.”

A new field will cost approximately $400,000. The district has not determined a funding method yet, but the School Board is keeping “all options open,” according to Bright.

In the fall, the district hired the firm Biomechanica, based out of Portland, to conduct what is known as a “playing surface impact test,” which determines how well the turf absorbs shock.

The turf field was tested in eight different areas and did not pass in two areas. The district has since hired the company FieldTurf to repair a few of the seams and areas that were worn down. The company also repaired some areas that the district maintenance crew had fixed during the last several years. The cost for the repairs was $800, and the repairs are expected to last through the 2011-12 school year.

“However, should any problems with the turf occur next year, we are prepared to have FieldTurf repair these as well,” Bright said.