MCS considers artificial turf for some football stadiums - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Andrew Douglas

MCS considers artificial turf for some football stadiums

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Memphis City Schools will seek donations to cover the cost of putting artificial turf on twelve of the district's football fields, officials said Friday.

Friday, school leaders said they wanted to make it clear they would not use any money from the district's general fund to complete the five to six million dollar project.  In fact, they said, the district hopes to have all money for the project to be donated privately.

Officials said the first phase of the project would include Crump Stadium, Halle Stadium, and football fields at Melrose, Raleigh Egypt and Whitehaven.

Those familiar with the project say the artificial turf would result in significantly lower costs for the district over time due to its lower maintenance costs.  However, it was met with some criticism coming in the same week MCS Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash told the Memphis City Council all schools could close because of a budgetary shortfall.

Nevertheless, district leaders plan to tackle school funding and field funding at the same time.

"This is one of the many programs Dr. Cash is implementing," Memphis City Schools district planning analyst Jake Allen said. "Every program stands alone. For example, if there is a individual organization who wants to contribute to the educational programs, they can do so. If there is an individual or a corporation or other organization who wants to, for instance, contribute to the literacy program, they can do that as well."

District leaders are looking at the same turf used by Christian Brothers High School, MUS, and South Panola High School in Mississippi.

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