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Article: Board Approves Moving Forward with New Stadium Turf, Track

Board Approves Moving Forward with New Stadium Turf, Track

Posted Monday, December 18, 2023

Preliminary Design for Turf Field at Bellbrook Stadium.

 

The Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Board of Education approved the use of Permanent Improvement Funds to replace the turf field and track at David L. Holmes Field at Bellbrook Stadium this summer.

The field, which was one of the first in the area to become a turf field, has lasted 16 years – long surpassing the expected 10-12 years of safe use.

The district will be contracting with the Motz Group to put down the turf. The Motz Group is well known in the area as a leader in artificial surfaces, having put down fields for Ohio State, the Cincinnati Bengals, the University of Dayton, the Indianapolis Colts, the Cleveland Browns, FC Cincinnati and numerous high school fields in the area, including Fairmont, Centerville, Beavercreek and many others.

“We expect that a steel and concrete stadium will last a really long time, but the carpet (playing surface) lasts about 10 to 12 years. We’ve gotten to 16, which is really, really good news,” Athletic Director Charlie O’Dell said. “Ron Tyree is our main maintenance person out at the stadium and he takes really, really good care of it.”

According to O’Dell the turf on the Bellbrook field is the oldest in the state, and that turf plays host to about 300 games/events per year through the various entities that utilize the stadium.  

It’s about more than just one sport. More than 18 groups have events on the field and track throughout the year, which doesn’t include the open hours when community members can come and simply walk in a safe, open space.


O’Dell explained the reasoning behind the need for the turf, including the GMAX testing results, which are nearing a dangerous threshold. The testing calculates the absorption of force in sports turf. He also explained the north end of the stadium, where nearly everyone enters the field by the band bleachers, had the most concerning statistics.

“That’s where we are starting to see the GMAX values starting to slip to near unsafe values,” O’Dell said.
The replacement for the field and track will cost approximately $750K, which will be paid from the Permanent Improvement fund. Efforts to get a sponsorship for the Stadium were ultimately unsuccessful, but the district is continuing to look for donors for the rights to name the stadium, field, track, or all three.

The track is a big deal for the district with a Division I District track meet held there yearly for the last several track seasons. Without a new track surface in the near future, these types of meets may be moving somewhere else.

While the board approved the expenditure on December 14, the field is not yet on the schedule with the Motz Group, but O’Dell hopes that will happen soon and the stadium could be complete by July 5.  

It’s important to note the field will also see updates. Along with an improved, two-tone surface, the lines for lacrosse, soccer and football will now all be sewn in, instead of having some of them painted.

“This stadium positively affects thousands of community members every year,” O’Dell said.

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