On Nov. 2, Scarborough residents will vote on a bond referendum of up to $1.9 million to renovate the turf field at Scarborough High School. Haleigh Couture photo

SCARBOROUGH — It has been two years since the town voted down a bond referendum intended to renovate the track and turf at Scarborough High School. The town will have a chance once again to vote on a renovation bond at the Nov. 2 municipal election.

Voters will have the opportunity to approve a bond of up to $1.9 million to replace the existing turf and track at the high school. The track underwent a resurfacing in 2006 when the original turf was then installed.

Currently, the turf is well past its lifespan and it can no longer be remedied by general maintenance, say school officials. Typical lifespan for turf fields maxes out between eight to 10 years of usage. The field is now greatly deteriorated at the surface and is posing safety concerns for further intended use, officials say.

While ongoing maintenance has allowed the current fall season sports to continue at the facility, it is in question as to how much longer the track and turf will hold up.

Director of Athletics and Student Activities at Scarborough High School Mike LeGage has witnessed firsthand the need for the renovation. The turf was last tested and approved for the fall season in July.

“The issue has been, because the turf is in such bad shape, we have had to move to getting it tested before every season and then doing the recommended mitigation before the season,” said LeGage. “It has become a much grander thing than if we have just followed the normal maintenance schedule.”

Scarborough school officials say the turf field at the high school is well passed its useful lifespan and needs to be renovated. Haleigh Couture photo

Regularly sweeping the turf with the sweepers specifically used to pick up debris on the field, is now no longer possible, LeGage said, due to the fragile state of the turf’s surface. The sweepers would ruin what little of the surface remains.

Normally, general maintenance would include monthly sweeping, monthly disinfecting, and the placement of rubberized pellets applied to the turf. All of which has been halted due to the deteriorating condition, he said.

“This is the end,” said LeGage. “We will get it tested before the spring season starts if we are still planning to use it in the spring. That will involve a retest and then get it mitigated before the season starts in March.”

The amount of the bond is higher than the previous 2019 bond which had an estimated cost of up to $1.2 million. The increase in the amount of the bond is due to increases in material costs and inflation. While prices may have increased, the scope of the renovation has not changed.

Scarborough boys’ varsity soccer head coach Mark Diaz said the facility serves more than just those involved in high school sports. It caters to roughly 18 different groups who use the turf and track, ranging from students, athletes, community services program participants, residents, youth sports leagues and clubs.

“The facility is a focal point of the community,” said Diaz. “Community members use it, too. I teach phys ed and we use it for educational purposes, so it’s very important to the overall community.”

If the referendum is approved in November, construction is set to begin in the spring and the new turf would be ready for use in August 2022.

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: