Albertville schools looking at nearly $2M price tag to renovate athletic fields

ALBERTVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Albertville City School system officials estimate it could cost nearly $2 million to upgrade its athletic fields after years of drainage problems.

Albertville school officials say the drainage on their softball and baseball fields is so bad there are times it prevents players from being able to practice. And on the football field, the band can't practice after the field is striped midweek.

School officials say the drainage problems have been going on for so long they hope to resolve the problem once and for all by replacing all of the fields' turfs with AstroTurf in the next few months.

Superintendent Ric Ayer estimates they spend around $50,000 dollars annually on upkeep for the fields. He hopes replacing the turfs will allow for more productivity for the players and allow for city use them during the schools' off time.

Ayer says there is also a plan to set up a contingency fund that will accumulate to pay for future concerns. He believes changing the turf from natural to artificial will have a long-term beneficial impact.

"We'll never have to water the fields again which is an expense. We'll never have to cut the field. We don't have to contract with a company so we do to maintain all the fields that we're doing with the fertilizer and everything. There's a lot to do to maintain regular turf grass fields. That will all be done away with. Plus just the ability to play on them immediately after a rain and practice on them," said Ayer.

Ayer says they hope to get the bids open sometime in October. That way they can get started on the football field as soon as the football season is over and get the baseball and softball fields done before the spring.

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