Artificial Turf Included in Millard Bond Issue

By: Ann McIntire Email
By: Ann McIntire Email

The Millard School District says artificial turf on Millard West and North's practice fields are needed, but some taxpayers say not in this economy.

Included in the $140 million bond issue, giving the two schools that don't have a stadium, Millard West and Millard North, their own artificial turf practice field.

"We could use that money even for more computers, for more schools," said Amy Bolton, who has children in Millard's school district. "I mean schools are getting packed already and they're having to put up more mobiles and I think that money could be used more wisely."

Bolton's son, Eli, is almost five, and although it may be awhile, Amy hopes he some day will play football for Millard West. However, Amy does not support the $3.2 million dollars it would cost to give the schools artificial turf fields. "I think that's a lot of money to spend right now, for fields that would mainly be used for practice or for other games when most of the football games are played at Millard South, we could use that money to spend a little more wisely."

At this time, all Millard varsity football games are played at Buell Stadium, which has artificial turf. There are no plans for a full stadium to go in anywhere else.

Glo McDaniel had two children graduate from Millard West, one a football player. She supports the proposal. "I think that in the long run it would help with maintaining it and everything, that maybe it will save them money in the long run."

"We are one of the very few schools in class A that don't have field turf," said Chad Zimmerman, Activities Director and Assistant Principal for Millard North. "So just because of the amount of use that we get, it's just become imperative to make sure our students are getting the best we can provide them."

Zimmerman says the fields do get plenty of use, including band practice and PE classes. "This is really a small fraction of the overall bond issue, the main focuses are the security, the technology, the energy efficiency, this is really only two-percent."

However, it's a lot of money to taxpayers like Bolton, who says she will vote yes for the bond issue, simply because of the other issues included. "There's a lot of good things in there, which is why I think they are just slipping those fields in there, because it's my kids education, and it's important, but at the same time, I wish they wouldn't be trying to spend money on things that aren't necessary right now with the economy."

If the bond issue passes, the owner of a $100,000 home would pay an extra $15 per year. The two-percent of that, what the fields would cost, is about $.30.

The bond issue vote is through mail-in ballots this year. Those in the district will start receiving them at the end of October, and they need to be returned by November 15.

In Omaha Public School district, every stadium has artificial turf, but each school has a practice field with natural grass.

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