OLSD approves turf replacements


The field turfs at the Olentangy, Olentangy Liberty, and Olentangy Orange High School football stadiums are set to be replaced after the Olentangy Local School District (OLSD)’s Board of Education voted to approve the improvements during Thursday’s meeting.

Speaking to the board during the meeting, OLSD Director of Business Management and Facilities Jeff Gordon said the original turf fields, which were installed in 2013, carried an estimated lifespan of 10 years with eight-year warranties.

A contract with Maumee Bay Turf, LLC in the amount of just under $1.84 million was approved by the board after three total bids were considered. Funding for the replacement fields will be provided mostly from the turf replacement funds each athletic department has built. The funds include a percentage of each school’s profits from athletic ticket sales as well as fees associated with renting the stadiums.

The remainder of the funding will come from the athletic departments or, most likely, through booster donations.

Gordon noted the bids far exceeded the original estimation for replacement when the turf was installed, a result of the rising costs through the years.

“At the time, they had estimated that our turf replacement would be about $300,000. But as we know, all of the costs over the last several years have driven that up,” Gordon told the board.

The district underwent a request for proposal (RFP) process to identify the three contractors that would bid on the project, which allowed the district to ensure it would receive a quality product at the most cost-effective price.

“We did an RFP process this time because we didn’t want a low bidder, and since this is not a school building, legal counsel did advise us that we were ok to go ahead and do this through an RFP as long as we got the three prices, which is our policy,” Gordon said. “So we chose the three companies we wanted to bid on this because, again, we were trying not to get the low-bid turf that wouldn’t last.”

The three bidders included The Motz Group, which installed the original turf at Liberty and Olentangy Berlin High School, and Astroturf Corporation, which has recently installed turf on the softball fields at Liberty and Orange. Maumee Bay also has experience with projects in the district, having installed the original turf at Olentangy and Orange.

“We had three good companies that had great reputations,” Gordon said. “They had great references from others as well as our experiences with them, so we knew we were getting quality turf, and these weren’t the highest-end turf companies out there, but they were offering quality turf.”

Included in the turf replacements will be the additions of end zone coloring and lettering, as well as alternating shading every five yards on the fields. The alternate shading comes at no additional cost and “adds another contrast to the field that sharpens the look,” according to Gordon.

Board President Kevin O’Brien said of the turf replacement, “When I started on the board 13 years ago, we went through the journey of really working with our booster groups on getting turf at Orange, Liberty and Olentangy. There was a ton of skepticism around whether or not the boosters could pull it off, raise the money, and deliver. And they did.

“Not only did they raise the money to deliver the turf, but they raised a sufficient revenue stream to replace the turf. … I’d be remiss if I didn’t recognize and acknowledge the work of Orange, Liberty, and Olentangy’s booster groups on getting this turf and getting the revenue stream to replace it. … I’m very proud of that work and the work of the boosters and how they were able to get that done for the district.”

No posts to display