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Chuck Knox Stadium turf safe, but near 'end of its life,' Quaker Valley leaders say

| Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Aging turf at Chuck Knox Stadium in Leetsdale has Quaker Valley administrators considering plans for the facility.

An impact test conducted over the summer shows the 2004-built turf field is safe — for now, Administrative Services Director Joe Marrone said.

“It is getting to (its) end of life,” he said. “We know it's an upcoming expense we're going to have to do.”

Marrone said the facility's warranty was for seven years, but routine maintenance and regular testing have allowed school administrators to prolong use of the field.

He said he fears the field's life expectancy is running out soon.

“At some point when we can't make the (impact testing) or we have additional tears … there's going to have to be a point where we replace that field,” Marrone said.

Superintendent Joseph Clapper said the field will continue to be used as long as it is safe.

“That field gets used like crazy,” he said. “Evenings, weekends — there's just people always on that field.”

About 70 events took place on the field throughout the month of September, according to the Quaker Valley website.

At least five of those events were from non-Quaker Valley-related groups.

Most of the activities on the field last month were Quaker Valley sports, including boys and girls soccer, junior varsity football, varsity football and band practice.

Clapper said crews had to do a “pretty good chunk of work this summer” to keep it operable.

“If we can get another year out of it, that's great … as long as it's safe,” he said.

School board member Dave Pusateri said directors discussed replacing the high school stadium turf in 2011 when they were debating plans for the district's middle school field.

School directors at the time approved spending more than $628,000 for artificial turf at the middle school.

Pusateri said the fields are important to the school and community.

“Both fields are used by the community — by everybody,” he said

He said school leaders will continue discussing plans for Chuck Knox Stadium, but said he wants to see the district “hopefully get another year out of it.”

Bobby Cherry is an associate editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-324-1408 or rcherry@tribweb.com.

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