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Turf talks: District adds installing artificial fields to building proposal

Athletic Director John Geniti told the Scotia-Glenville Board of Education at the Monday, Aug. 25, meeting that he would stay as long as needed to come to a conclusion on whether or not turf will be added to the district's upcoming building project.

Geniti got his answer when the board voted in favor of installing artificial turf as part of the multimillion-dollar project.

Turf is an immediate improvement that people can see. It will allow us to rest our other fields and improve their conditions, said Geniti.

Ken Nigh, a representative from Chenango Sports in Johnson City, spoke to the board about Field Turf, the company's top-selling turf product. Nigh told the board of several other neighboring school districts also looking into installing the turf, including Schenectady and Shenendehowa High Schools.

He also mentioned that Stillwater, Johnstown, Perth Broadalbin, Hoosick Valley and Amsterdam are among the districts that have already switched to turf.

"Physical education teachers love it because they can get the kids outside and play on fields that aren't being saved for football or band. Parents love it because the kids are always clean, and if it rains all day until 3:30, you can still have a game scheduled for 4 because the water doesn't rest, it drains," said Nigh.

Nigh addressed a number of the board's concerns, including the state's recent guidelines that require schools to shop for a 15-year warranty and a lead-free product.

Nigh said Field Turf is in the process of becoming lead-free and should be by the time Scotia-Glenville would be installing the product. He also said the amounts currently in the product are so minute they are almost undetectable. He passed out a report with more than 40 independent studies supporting Field Turf's claim that the product is safe as is.

Nigh also reminded the board of the low-maintenance aspect of turf as opposed to grass.

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