MADISON, Ala. -- Madison City Schools Superintendent Robby Parker says it's time to turf the Madison City Schools Stadium.
Two of the largest schools in north Alabama share one stadium field. "Bob Jones, James Clemens, we're the only two schools in the state of Alabama, 7A schools, that share a stadium with natural grass," says Parker.
The superintendent says the amount of play roughs up the grass field. "Every Friday night, there's a game on the stadium field," says Parker. "Sometimes two games a week! What that does is that doesn't allow our stadium grass to ever recover."
So, the school board is discussing a solution. Parker says the board agrees that the field needs to get turf.
For the past five years, Parker has been researching natural grass benefits versus turf field benefits. "The playing surface is much more consistent, obviously," says Parker. "There's not wet, you're not slipping around and sliding around."
Parker adds that over a 20 year period, Madison City Schools will save over a quarter of a million dollars by using turf.
"We believe we'll save about $50,000 over a ten year period and then in the second ten year period when all you have to do is re-rug it, we'll save probably $150,000 or more," says Parker.
Because of the money they could save, along with the benefit of staying at one stadium in town instead of using neighboring stadiums when the grass gets bogged down, Parker says now, turf is essential.
"Many schools are starting to look to turf and we feel like, certainly, with two large 7A schools playing on the same field, it's got to a point of where it's a necessity for us."
This past Friday, the James Clemens High School football game was moved from the Madison City Schools Stadium to Athens. This was the fourth time in five years that the school board had to move a game to preserve the all-natural grass field.