Budrow displayed two versions of a full-color rendering of the field--both with bright green artificial turf and the blue hawk logo at the center. The first showed the track surface in red, the color, he explained, that was the most UV stable. The second showed the track in blue, because schools like to have the track reflect the school colors. It was later revealed that a blue track would cost $37,000 more than a red track.
It has not yet been decided if the playing field will be natural turf (i.e., grass) or artificial turf. Budrow stressed that the artificial turf being contemplated is not Astroturf but rather "long tufted strands of polymer plastic." He described it as an "engineered system" that reduces the G-forces on the brain and reduces the possibility of concussion when players fall. It was noted that there had been a moratorium, now past, on installing synthetic turf playing fields in New York State. Speaking to that, BOE president Maria McLaughlin commented that the research done at the time of the moratorium was inconclusive and observed that many of the studies showing the benefits of synthetic turf have been funded by Monsanto. She said that the studies typically involved natural turf on ground that was much harder than the soil in Hudson.
The life expectancy of artificial turf is fifteen years, after which the fiber breaks down and needs to be recycled. The BOE will be looking at a cost comparison of maintaining a natural turf field and an artificial turf field over time before making their decision.
Jack Connor, who coaches the girls' track team, called the design for the athletic field "pretty good" but pointed out three shortcomings: (1) The two lane track proposed was only good for dual meets. Eight lanes would be needed for regional events. (2) There was no accommodation for steeple chase. (3) The long jump should have two runways. Connor suggested that having a track capable of hosting regional meets could bring income to the district from use fees and concession sales.
There were also concerns about the orientation of the field. BOE member Sage Carter observed that the sun would always be in the eyes of the spectators seated in the bleachers. Budrow explained that the optimal orientation for the field was only slightly different from the one being presented and that earth moving was "the cost prohibitive part of reorienting the field."
With only ten minutes left in the hour designated for the presentation of the capital project, attention shifted to what is being proposed for Montgomery C. Smith School. After acknowledging that the past practice of directing storm water into the ravine, its natural receiver, had caused erosion and created a delta effect in the ravine, Budrow explained that the plan is to direct storm water by a piped system into Underhill Pond, thus eliminating erosion problems.
He went on to explain that acquiring the sought after 1.4 acres from the City of Hudson, which he noted the City was amenable to, would not allow them to extend the proposed new building farther south because the soil there was fill and would not support the proposed construction. Instead, two classrooms would be constructed on top of the existing "tech wing."
No elevations were shown last night for the proposed new building. When Carter asked if the board could see a rendering that showed the existing building with the proposed new building attached, John Sharkey of Rhinebeck Architecture assured her that such drawings would be created. Construction of the new building is not expected to begin until August 2017.
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