December 2017

SportsTurf provides current, practical and technical content on issues relevant to sports turf managers, including facilities managers. Most readers are athletic field managers from the professional level through parks and recreation, universities.

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Page 44 of 51

Why STMA should consider your field a winner? At Atlee High School, we face many challenges when it comes to the management of our lacrosse field and its related sports turf areas. Many of our challenges are not unlike most public schools across the country, but we have managed to take a unique approach to overcoming those challenges. Through administrative support (school and school board), athletic administration efforts, support of parents, industry partnerships and hard work, we have been able to take on each challenge with visible success and positive outcomes. Our first major challenge, as with most people, is our operational budget. Being a public school, funding is concentrated in education programs and student development. We operate on a very small operational budget that must be stretched over 48 athletic teams. Through fundraising efforts and ticket sales from various events, we have been able to generate funds to focus on facilities. In the past, budget allotments to athletic fields and sports turf were only allotted on an as needed basis, and even what you needed wasn't always what you were given. With the help of athletic coaches, other groups that used our fields, athletic boosters and athletic administration we made sports surface safety and improvements a priority. We earmarked funds to focus on field improvements and maintenance. We also learned to plan and prioritize spending and place certain projects on a timeline so we can build funds for those improvements. We have looked to invest in quality used equipment instead of spending a large amount of funding on a new machine. By utilizing community resources and donations, we have been able to acquire a large compliment of quality equipment to maintain our facility. We also use our Agricultural Machinery Service curriculum as well as our Turf Science curriculum to teach students to repair, service, and maintain most of our equipment. Some repairs require professional diagnostics, so for those repairs we have to send those out for service. Field use and scheduling have always were an issue when working with the fields. Working with the individual groups and teams, we organized a field use schedule and system that removed regular practices from our game surfaces, and moved them to improved practice facilities. An open line of communications has made this change very successful, and has greatly improved the overall quality of our fields. Only limited practice time and walk-throughs are permitted on the game facility. Staffing and time are the two biggest challenges we face each day. Atlee High School does not have any full-time employees who are designated to athletic field maintenance. In the past, the school has relied on parents and coaches to maintain the facilities W E C U R R E N T L Y H AV E 5 8 S T U D E N T S E N R O L L E D I N O U R T U R F S C I E N C E C O U R S E S A N D E A C H O N E W O R K S O N T H I S F I E L D I N S O M E C A P A C I T Y. — Marc C. Moran www.spor 45 December 2017 //

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