Turf replacement part of larger BCS project

Read about this project or here is the text from the entire article by Andrew Pearson of the Asheville Citizen Times 5/17/15

Buncombe County Schools was at the forefront of a growing trend in Western North Carolina athletics.

Now is the time to start replacing the artificial turf fields that were first installed 10 years ago.

Workers have completely stripped away the old turf at Reynolds’ Scott Conner Field.

A new surface should be ready (if weather cooperates) for the first official day of football and boys soccer practice on Aug. 1.

Assistant Superintendent Robbie Adell said Wednesday that the goal is to revamp the other five BCS high school turf fields in the next three to four years. It is part of a long-ranging plan for BCS. More than $5 million will be committed to either upgrades or new construction to athletic facilities over the next seven to eight years.

“Our No. 1 priority with this plan is to bring about a sense of equity,” Adell said.

“We want to bring every school up to par with one another.”

Reynolds will be the only Buncombe high school to get new turf this summer, but other programs are getting other things.

Every BCS tennis court is undergoing a facelift, and six courts are being built at Owen so the Warhorses and Warlassies can play true home matches for the first time. Erwin’s track is being redone, and there are future plans to install lights to BCS baseball and softball programs which can currently only play during daylight hours.

Why is only Reynolds getting a new turf field now?

Adell said his school system had an outside company come in and test the BCS fields for playibility in the past year and Reynolds graded out the worst.

The Rockets were the first-ever WNC high school to get artificial turf in the summer of 2005. It was both a blessing and a curse.

“We’ve felt like the surface needed to be repaired for some time,” Reynolds football coach Shane Laws said.

“We were the first field and any of the glitches they had back then, it seemed like they kind of worked them out on our field. We’re as happy as we can be to get a new field. I’ll take this field-turf over regular grass any day of the week.”

BCS spent approximately $4 million in 2005 to give each of its high schools an artificial turf field. With this $400,000 update, there will be some modifications to the surface that the Rockets have played on the past 10 years.

Laws said that the shade of the turf will be different in 5-yard increments (similar to Asheville High’s current turf). In addition, “Reynolds” and “Rockets” will be painted in the two end zones which were bare in the past.

The Rockets logo in the middle of the field will not change.

Thirty-one high schools from WNC play football and 14 of them do so on artificial turf.

All of the change has occurred since 2005 – Asheville High joined the Buncombe schools in saying goodbye to grass that summer. After that, both Haywood County schools (Pisgah and Tuscola) have joined in, along with Avery County, Brevard, Cherokee, Hayesville and Madison.

Brevard (2014) was the most recent mountain school to go to turf.

Reynolds sent its turf out in style – the Rockets won their first-ever 3-A Western Regional championship in girls soccer on May 26.

That will prove to be the last official athletic contest played on the old turf. Reynolds won the NCHSAA 3-A championship four days later in Raleigh with a 2-1 victory over Swansboro.

The shelf life for turf fields is about 10 years.

There are no current plans to replace the field at Asheville High. The Cougars are a 10-time defending conference champion in MAC 3-A/4-A football.

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