The Madison High School football team will have to play another fall season on natural grass — and maybe mud.
That’s the latest word from officials at the rural Butler County school system that had previously hoped to install its first artificial turf sports field in time for autumn prep sports.
And in Butler County’s Monroe schools, the district and community has just embraced its second-generation version of artificial turf, complete with brighter colors and logo.
But Madison Superintendent Lisa Tuttle-Huff said the delay in her district happened because officials want to be cautious financially and wait until more donations have come in to cover the plastic grass field’s costs.
And like many school districts across Ohio, Madison officials are waiting for the outcome of the Ohio Legislature’s biennium budget negotiations that will determine the level of state funding local schools will receive for the next two years beginning on July 1.
“We are always cautious with money, especially in a climate where we are not completely sure how the new (school) funding formula will effect our budget,” Tuttle-Huff said.
Madison is one of only two school districts in Butler County — New Miami Schools is the other — where athletes play and practice on natural grass fields.
Ross schools announced earlier this month it has raised enough money to install its first artificial turf field.
Chad Norvell, president of Madison’s Turf Committee, said, “we are very close to obtaining our goal.”
“We are waiting for installation until we have the entire amount of money raised. We are within $50,000 of meeting our projected project cost, and anticipate the project start date after football season is complete this year,” said Norvell, who is also a member of the Madison school board.
Monroe schools opened its new field two months ago and is looking forward to the fall prep sports season as well as allowing local youth and adult recreational sports leagues access to the new field.
“We couldn’t be more pleased with the results of our turf field replacement project,” aid Eric Silverman, athletic director for Monroe Schools.
“Our project was completed this past April, and since then, our facility as resumed its role as a focal point for school and community activities.”
“Our schools and facilities have always served as the centerpiece of our community and we believe this project is going to allow us to continue to provide not only our student-athletes but all members of our community with an outstanding experience when participating in curricular, extra-curricular and recreational activities.”
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