ECISD High Schools Getting New Turf For Practice Fields

By Anayeli Ruiz
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - Greener grass is coming to ECISD. This after dealing with hard tough grounds for a long time. But as NewsWest9 found out, this is not only beneficial to sports, but this is also be good for other campus organizations.

"Over the years of this drought, these surfaces have become really hard, grass doesn't grow that well," David Finley, Executive Director for the District of Operations, said.

Trying to grow grass in a desert area can cause some major headaches, even if it rains some, it's just not enough.

"So now you get grass up, lets say and it rains again that means you cant play in it the next day cause you rip up the grass, having a synthetic system elevates that issue," Finley said.

The cost to replace Ratliff Stadium and add turf to the OHS and Permian practice fields is right around $2 million dollars. Officials expect the turf to last about 10 years and in the long run it will cut costs for the district.

"What it does is it reduces the need to water and so you save money. It's not a tremendous amount but you do save money and we are looking at over $90,000 a year in maintained cost at those two fields that are now grass," Finley said.

But this new turf will not only affect the athletic department, it will also help others who need to use this field. Like the band at OHS who is practicing in a parking lot.

"Hopefully it will work out for us to be able to use it alot and at least allow us the opportunity to march on a turf more similar to what we are going to be performing on," OHS Band Director, Bill Harden, said.

"You can play on it much more frequently, it's safer, more kids can practice, more games can be held and it clears up this big scheduling nightmare we have, even if we had enough rain at this point," Finley said.

In a few months, students at OHS and at Permian will be enjoying the new turf field before football season.