During a Feb 6 public forum, Cavness said he had talked with administrators at four different school districts and they all reported problems with their turf fields.

School board says field deteriorated too fast

The Port Arthur News reported back in January that the Port Neches-Groves school board (in Port-Neches, TX) was considering filing a lawsuit against FieldTurf, the company responsible for installing the turf at Port Neches-Groves High School’s Indian Stadium.

Reporter Brandon Janes wrote that for the past two years the Port Neches-Groves School District (PNGISD) has been evaluating the turf, which cost almost $2 million to install in 2008, for premature deterioration: The breaking apart of the nylon fibers used in the artificial grass.

“It’s coming apart in some places and we’re having trouble getting [FieldTurf] to hold up their end of the deal,” Superintendent Rodney Cavness told The Port Arthur News. “The board is going to discuss if we want to enter into litigation with the company,” Cavness said.

On Monday, February 6th during a public forum on the issue, Cavness said he had talked with administrators at four different school districts, Aledo ISD, Midlothian ISD, Navasota ISD and Humble ISD, and they all reported they had problems with their turf fields installed by FieldTurf.

Reporter Mary Meaux of the The Port Arthur News did a follow-up on February 8. She reported that, “two years of Southeast Texas summer heat and sun has taken their toll on the faux grass at Port Neches-Groves High School’s Indian Stadium. The lush green field with purple and white markings has seen numerous football and soccer games since it was installed in 2008. But last fall the field began to show some wear and tear.

Scotty Lewis, program manager for LANWalton [engineering consultants], alerted school board trustees to a problem with the turf during a recent meeting and of plans to rectify the problem.”

Cavness said he spoke with officials at FieldTurf, the company that installed the artificial turf, and was told a representative would visit the site to evaluate the field sometime in late January or early February.

“It’s premature failure on the part of the turf itself,” he said. “After speaking with a representative, he said of about 4,000 FieldTurf fields there are about 50 of them showing premature wear. All of these are in the southern portion of the U.S. where it is very hot with extreme sunlight/ultraviolent rays. They indicated they will fix this and it won’t be a problem. We’ll see.”

The Port Arthur News reported that Darren Gill, vice president, global marketing for FieldTurf, said he spoke with the company’s customer service department and confirmed a representative will be visiting the PN-G field. He could not provide more information about the specific issues with the field until a complete review is available, he said.-Jim Novak reporting in Turfgrass Producers International newsletter.