Pelham approves turf resolution

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Pelham High School is soon to become the second school in Shelby County to receive new synthetic turf on their football field.

The Pelham City Council voted 3-1 Monday in favor of a resolution to donate $696,200 to Pelham High for use to resurface the Panthers&8217; football field at Ned Bearden Stadium. After seeking bids from various turf distributors, Pelham chose Field Turf.

&8220;Field Turf in our opinion is the best in the industry. We looked at all types of fields and thought they were the best,&8221; Pelham football coach and athletic director Bret Burnett said.

&8220;I&8217;ve certainly been impressed with the links that they&8217;ve gone to do some research about the product,&8221; Field Turf&8217;s southeastern regional manager Rusty Russell said.

Russell says Pelham&8217;s field will be modeled similarly to the New England Patriots&8217; new field installed in November.

Pelham Mayor Bobby Hayes first approached Pelham High with the idea of turf after attending the Panther&8217;s game at Vestavia Hills, who has had turf for three years.

Pelham joins Spain Park High as the second school in the county to add synthetic turf. Spain Park and Vestavia Hills selected Spinturf to resurface their fields. Installation was complete at SPHS&8217;s Jaguar Stadium in time for the Lakeshore Shootout girls&8217; soccer tournament in mid-February.

Spain Park athletic director Gena Morris joins Hayes and Burnett in agreeing that despite a high cost for installation, the benefits of turf include less maintenance and more field usage.

&8220;We used to have to keep teams off of it to allow the grass to grow. This takes all of that out of the equation,&8221; Morris said.

Pelham city and school officials hope the turf will provide more use by other sports at Pelham, the band and the community.

The turf will lie on top of a layered base of rubber, sand/rubber, sand, and rock from top to bottom.

&8220;It&8217;s not like the old artificial turf, where you were getting tackled on concrete,&8221; she said.

Preparatory work for Pelham&8217;s installation is expected to begin today. Burnett says the installation process will take 60-90 days.

Hoover High is currently in the installation process also