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FWCS studying turf for Spuller Stadium

December 21, 2018

All signs are pointing to artificial turf being installed at Northrop High School’s Spuller Stadium in time for the 2019 football season.

“We are exploring artificial turf,” said Krista Stockman, spokeswoman for Fort Wayne Community Schools. “If we are going to move forward with that, it would have to be approved by the school board.”

The field conditions at Spuller Stadium, used for football by both Northrop and Snider, and other area schools, have been a hot-button issue recently.

The potential success of this project : if it happens : could affect other city high schools : North Side, South Side and Wayne.

“We’ll see how this goes and make decisions based on needs and available funding,” Stockman said.

As it pertains to Spuller Stadium, renovations to the turf are currently in the design phase, Stockman said, after which the city would need to review any proposed changes and a bid process would then take place.

As for a school board vote, if it comes, that would likely be in March if the current timeline holds.

Stockman stressed funding for the proposed new turf at Spuller would not come from the 2016 referendum project that, among many things, has overseen renovations at Northrop and other parts of Spuller Stadium.

“That field needs the most work,” she said. “And we’re already doing work at Northrop and with the stadium as part of the referendum. This wouldn’t come out of the referendum money; this is totally separate. But because it’s used by two teams, that’s the reason we’re looking at this one first : the condition of the field and that it’s used by two teams.”

Asked about financing for the project, Stockman said plans had already been made.

“It’s not a done deal until the board approves the contracts, but it’s something that in the fall : in the budget we have to put together a ‘capital projects plan’ that lays out any major projects we might do. This was included as a possibility, so that we could begin the process of formally exploring it,” Stockman said.

A pubic notice printed in The Journal Gazette on Wednesday read: “Fort Wayne Community Schools ... is submitting a Notice of Intent to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management of our intent to comply with the requirements ... to discharge storm water from construction activities associated with the Northrop High School Artificial Turf Field ... (and) runoff from the project site will discharge into the St. Joseph River.”

jcohn@jg.net

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