Dear Shawnee Parents/Guardians,
As you may have noticed, we recently closed our synthetic turf field in order for it to be evaluated. The field, received as donations from community members and local businesses through the Shawnee Turf Committee, was installed approximately ten (10) years ago as a multi-purpose field, and is primarily used for high school athletic events including football, soccer, lacrosse, field hockey, band and physical education classes. We also host community athletic events and celebrations.
We regularly maintained the turf, in accordance with the guidelines issued by the manufacturer; and, we have been testing it yearly for fitness/playability. Nevertheless, it is exposed to the usage referred to above, as well as the weather, including constant exposure to the sun, all of which cause normal wear and tear. Over time, the turf fibers started splitting and laying down flat, which prompted us to close the turf until it was professionally evaluated.
The results of the evaluation were recently received and it was concluded by the professionals our turf field needs to be replaced. The evaluations determined, among other findings, that “the degree of fiber splitting is extraordinary,” and that the fibers were “designed and manufactured in a way that caused inevitable premature deterioration.” Cherokee High School’s turf, which is approximately the same age, and made by the same manufacturer as Shawnee’s turf, has also deteriorated prematurely.
Replacement of both Shawnee and Cherokee’s turf will begin after graduation this June, and will be completed before the start of the 2019-2020 school year for fall sports, band and physical education classes, etc. In the meantime, arrangements have been made to use the grass fields for lacrosse practices and games. Track and field will not be disrupted by the turf closure. The fields will continue to be used for non-athletic events up until construction begins, including graduation ceremonies.
Thank you for your patience this spring, and we will see you on the turf for the Class of 2019 Graduation Ceremony!
Please do not hesitate to call me if you have any questions. I also invite you to visit our website to review the evaluation report and other information about the summer turf replacement process.
Director of Athletics and Activities