EASTON — The Talbot County Board of Education, during a recent meeting, weighed the cost of repairing the stadium, field hockey, practice football and practice lacrosse fields at Easton High School.
The projects, which include goal area leveling, hole filling, resurfacing and grass seeding, potentially could cost $24,900, said Lynne Duncan, the assistant superintendent for administrative and support services.
Duncan estimated the costs for each field project at $3,500 for the field hockey field, $5,500 for the football field, $10,500 for the lacrosse field and $5,400 for the stadium field.
The projects aren’t slated to begin until after spring 2020, which gives administrators ample time to re-examine the price tag and see if there is a way to decrease some of the costs, Duncan said.
Talbot school Superintendent Dr. Kelly Griffith said the school had someone come out and examine the fields, who said “it wasn’t like (students) couldn’t play on the field,” but there were some spots that needed to be repaired.
Griffith said the school system would prefer to wait until the end of 2019 to see if there are any “leftover or excess (materials) we could use” for the repairs. If not, she said the board should weigh adding the repair costs to its 2020 budget.
When asked about the possibility of making the stadium field a turf field, Griffith called it a “very expensive” project.
“It’s not only expensive to install. It’s also expensive to maintain,” she said. “There’s a lot of equipment that you have to purchase for the grooming, and with the lowest funding in the state, it’s difficult.”
Giffith nodded to the condition of the field Easton High currently has, which was placed in 2006, saying it “has really held up well with that Bermuda grass.”
But Giffith assured turf field supporters that she wasn’t “saying it will never happen.”
“What I am saying is that, when you live in a county where the county can only raise a certain amount of money through taxes, and it’s the lowest in the state, it’s going to be difficult to prioritize fields over teacher salaries and teacher positions,” she said.
“If it’s something you want to have as a priority, it’s something you can always put in a budget,” Griffith said to the board members.
Board members said they would consider raising funds from the community to finance the turf field project, as people have expressed an interest in contributing during past discussions.