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BPI officials weigh merits of turf fields

| Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013, 9:31 p.m.

Research is vital when purchasing and maintaining a turf material sports field.

“Pick a product that will work best for you,” said Mike O'Brien, athletic director for the Fox Chapel Area School District.

O'Brien, a Brentwood High School graduate, spoke to members of the Brentwood Park Initiative last week about his experience on five previous occasions when purchasing and installing a turf field.

The Brentwood Park Initiative is a nonprofit organization of community leaders and residents working to raise money for the $8 million renovation. The first two phases of the park renovation are scheduled to begin in the spring, with Brentwood Borough Council approving the master plans for the project on Tuesday .

O'Brien said members should ask specific questions about the excavation process, filler materials, warranties and other such items before making a decision.

Turf field lasts eight to 10 years, O'Brien said.

If a field costs $1 million, the group should set aside 10 percent of the cost in case they encounter problems during construction.

He also suggested that the group consider a financial plan to maintain and replace the field as needed.

“You need to figure out how to do it again in eight to 10 years,” O'Brien said.

Frank Cappetta, a BPI director, said the group plans to tour several fields ranging before making specific recommendations to Brentwood Borough Council for final approval.

“If you go on those fields, you can feel the difference,” Cappetta said.

Likewise, other members, like Julie McCarthy, a BPI director, said they want to get a good field for the amount of money that they raised.

“We want a field. We want a nice surface,” McCarthy said.

Laura Van Wert is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5814 or at lvanwert@tribweb.com.

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