On Monday, the Port Neches-Groves ISD school board authorized further discussions between the district and Hellas Construction, an Austin-based synthetic turf installation company.
Discussions with the contractor take place in the backdrop of a pending lawsuit filed by the school district in January against Field Turf, the company who installed the synthetic turf at Port Neches-Groves Indian Stadium in 2008.
PN-GISD board president Rodney Balsmo said the board could not comment on the lawsuit but, according to previous reports, turf specialties hired by the district have reported problems with the turf, including premature deterioration of the nylon fibers on the turf, which could pose a safety hazard if not replaced within the next year.
“We have to move forward to do what is best for the kids and what is best for the tax dollars,” said Balsmo. “We can’t sit around and wait for what happens with this litigation.”
The value of the turf field installed by Field Turf was estimated at approximately $50,000 in January.
At their Monday meeting, the board heard a presentation from a representative of Hellas Construction, the company that installed synthetic turf fields at Lamar University and Beaumont ISD’s stadium, among many other area stadiums.
“We use only the best materials. The fibers we use are the best on the market,” said Eric Lutz, business development manager for Hellas Construction.
The turf salesman said that remaining material at Indian Stadium is “basically infill. Just sand and rubber.”
According to previous reporting, the premature deterioration is likely to be caused by a combination of the powerful ultraviolet rays of the sun found in the southern states of the U.S. and a bad batch of nylon.
Unlike Field Turf, who has had problems with turf fields across the country, Hellas Construction, a Texas Company, has not had a field fail yet, according to Lutz. The proposed Hellas turf field would use more synthetic material per yard and would not use sand in the mix, according to Lutz.
“It as good product. It looks nice and it holds up for a long time,” said Lutz.
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