Fargo North High School plans to install artificial turf
FARGO — It's around spring each year that Fargo North athletic director Travis Christensen sees the need for artificial turf.
"The challenge every spring is when I really would think about it," Christensen said. "Fall season goes until freeze time and then generally, you're going to get some wetness. The field goes to bed for the winter in rough shape. Then, we get a spring like we have the last couple of years with a prolonged wait, and our spring teams don't have that surface to recover."
Next spring, that may no longer be a hope for Christensen, as Fargo North High School is set to begin a project to install artificial turf on their current football and soccer field in July.
"Future springs they'll have a pristine surface they can utilize daily," Christensen said.
North will seek approval at the next Fargo school board meeting on Tuesday, June 25. The turf project is one of the items listed for action required at the meeting.
"Our current facility is fantastic, but it gets used and takes a beating," Christensen said. "It's tough to keep that up with our climate. Artificial turf allows for flexibility and scheduling. You almost can treat it like a gymnasium. It allows programs to be less affected by weather."
The initial cost is estimated at $1.2 million, according to school officials. Commitments have been received from several private donors. One donor will be entering into a contract to provide payment over a five-year term, therefore, the district will be covering the initial costs for a portion of the project.
The $1.2 million is based off the artificial turf project at Fargo South. The number is just an estimate, but will be based on next week's soil testing.
The hope is for the project to be done as early as September, but that's not for sure.
"Our hope is to have as little impact as possible on events," Christensen said. "There's a possibility that we could have to look at alternate sites for some things."
FieldTurf, USA, Inc. will be the vendor installing the field, the same company that put in the new turf field at Fargo South.
North is the latest school to add turf in the Fargo-Moorhead area. Besides Fargo South, West Fargo and West Fargo Sheyenne are installing turf surfaces that will be ready for the fall. Moorhead High School installed turf to its football field in 2013. Shanley has turf at Sid Cichy Stadium, leaving Fargo Davies, Fargo Oak Grove, Moorhead Park Christian and Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton as the schools without turf in the metro area.
It could be coming to Davies, according to Christensen.
"I know Davies has some things in place to make it happen," Christensen said.