D218 to study installing artificial turf on its fields
Community High School District 218 officials will study in coming weeks the merits of installing artificial turf at athletic fields at its high schools in Oak Lawn, Palos Heights and Blue Island.
School board member Robert Stokas said Thursday he thinks it might be worth the effort to replace the natural grass fields in use at Richards, Shepard and Eisenhower high schools.
“Most other high schools in the area have already done this,” Stokas said. “I’m not saying we need to have FieldTurf just because everybody else has it, but it is something we ought to consider.”
Board President Thomas Kosowski said committees will meet in coming weeks to study the issue, particularly cost.
While Stokas wasn’t sure how much the project Community High School District 218 board member Robert Stokas, left, on Thursday discusses replacing the playing surfaces of the district’s athletic facilities.
would cost, he said work likely would have to be completed over a numberof years, perhaps with one school per academic year getting new turf.
Stokas said he’d like to include the playing fields at the district’s administrative offices at 10701 S. Kilpatrick Ave. in Oak Lawn.
Stokas said those fields are used by other high school teams in sports such as soccer and softball and also are put to use by the southwest suburban elementary schools that feed students into District 218.
Although the district does not expect to make a
decision on playing surface replacement until later this year, Stokas already has one supporter for the idea.
School board member Johnny Holmes said he wants to hear from the athletic coaches at Richards, Shepard and Eisenhower, but also admitted his past opposition to artificial turf has softened.
“I’ve been told that modern turf is different, and it would not make our students more injury-prone if they played on it,” Holmes said.
Gregory Tejeda is a freelance reporter.