The initial investment regarding the football field turf by the Ganado school district proved to be an exceptional one.
The artificial turf that was placed in the mid-1990s outlived its life expectancy as the school recently replaced that turf with a new one.
“Our first season on the original carpet was in 1996,” longtime Ganado athletic director Jim Dowse said. “We got 18 seasons out of it so it was well worth the investment.”
In recent years, Dowse said they noticed that the seams were coming apart on the old carpet. And because of heavy traffic it was quite noticeable at both ends of the field as well as the team’s logo near midfield.
And although the area in question did not pose any major health risk for the athletes, Ganado second-year coach Chris McNabb saw it as an eyesore.
“It was in poor shape, the seams were breaking and there were some gaps,” McNabb said. “It wasn’t dangerous but it didn’t look any good.”
After doing some much research, Dowse said they considered doing repairs to the old turf but after having it for so long they decided that the football field needed a new turf.
“I think it was a smart move to put the new turf in and if we get 15 years out of it will be well spent,” Dowse said, while adding that the school board was real receptive to the idea.
“It took 14 months but they approved the project,” he said.
Dowse said they had five outfits that bid on the project and it was awarded to Sunland Sports, a Phoenix-based company, for just under $1 million.
The artificial turf cost $500,000 to replace while the outside running track ran just under that.
“We actually made some savings because the crew that originally put in the old turf did an exceptionally job,” Dowse said. “They didn’t have to do a whole lot below the surface.”
As for the track, Dowse said it’s being cured right now and in a couple of months Sunland Sports will complete the project when the final rubber coating is placed over the track.
For much of the summer, the company installed the latest artificial turf called “Duraspine Pro” and according to Dowse 22 of 32 NFL teams either play or practice on it.
“It’s more realistic and it’s more like real grass,” he said. “It’s something that Chinle and Monument Valley have and the kids real love it.”