Artificial Turf in Football Field’s Future

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Jay Barrett/KMXT

A lot more people – and especially a lot more students – will be able to use the Joe Floyd Track and Field at Baranof Park in the near future. When the governor approved the state capital projects budget, it included $2 million to replace the track surface and install synthetic turf on the football field at the park. Now all that’s needed is $900,000 in local matching funds.

City of Kodiak Parks and Recreation Director Ian Fulp said the current natural grass field is susceptible to extreme deterioration, forcing him to keep it closed much of the time.

(Baranof Park 1 48 sec "The football field … damaged from overuse.")

The new field turf is different than first generation Astroturf, which was basically green plastic carpet. The new field will have plastic grass, but it will incorporate sand and crumbled rubber to give it a more natural feel.

The project once included an eight-lane synthetic track and a synthetic outfield surface for the adjacent baseball field, but Fulp said the plan had to be scaled back to be financially feasible:

(Baranof Park 2 35 sec "This project started … able to get our funding.")

Because of the wet, rocky soil under the current track and field, which will all need to be removed, Fulp says the earthwork will be the most costly aspect of the improvements.

(Baranof Park 3 30 sec "The material around the rocks … a drainage system.")

The track, which surrounds the football field, has held up well over the years, but Fulp says it definitely needs replacement:

(Baranof Park 4 31 sec "The track was put in place … it’s time to replace it.")

While the city of Kodiak owns and operates the park, a resurfaced track and field would be heavily used by the school district, given its location next to three large schools. As for the $900,000 funding gap, Fulp says the city council will have to address that in the future. If all goes well, he says the Kodiak High School Bears – and the residents of the city – could be enjoying the improved track and field sometime in 2013.

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