Filip Sprawa, centre, sews Astroturf together with the help of the nine-person crew at Oak Bay High where the replacement turf is being installed. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

Turf replacement installed at Oak Bay High

New Astroturf will be ready for school, sports still cancelled

The replacement artificial turf is being installed at Oak Bay High following the removal of a faulty product.

School District 61, Oak Bay High and Bays United soccer association won’t have to pay for the new warranty-approved AstroTurf that has been installed in place of the five-year-old turf that was shedding blades of plastic grass into Bowker Creek in November of last year.

The starting costs for the new turf field would have been about $5 a square foot, or $400,000, as it’s about 80,000 square feet, said project manager Brian Woodruff.

“Unfortunately it was a manufacturing issue,” Woodruff said during day three of the five-day installation process on Friday. “The new turf has a different grass fibre. The old turf was done with glue and this new one is sewn.”

The new turf is an upgrade and has a better underlay. It uses a blend of silica sand as a ballast to weigh the mats down. The sand is blended with spongy plastic pellets that act as cushions for users.

READ ALSO: Oak Bay High soccer turf closed indefinitely as plastic sheds into Bowker Creek

The problem with the old turf was with the adhesion, said new Oak Bay High principal Tom Aerts, who arrived from Reynolds secondary this summer to replace the retiring Randi Falls.

The old grass fibres weren’t sticking to the rubber bottom, came loose, and then were tracked and blew off the field, ending up in Bowker Creek and flowing into Willows Beach, as Oak Bay News initially reported.

The field will be ready to use next week though there is no indication in sight for a return-to-play for community-based and school sports. B.C. School Sports will make that decision for Oak Bay High and SD61, while the B.C. Soccer Association has been working towards a return-to-play but is not there yet.

However, Oak Bay High will use the field for physical education classes and as space for small groups to play safely away from others.

“We’re fortunate that it’s able to be done, and we’ll be excited to host our first game there and hopefully sooner than later,” Aerts said.

reporter@oakbaynews.com


 

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