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Turf, track updates part of Franklin Regional’s capital improvements plan | TribLIVE.com
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Turf, track updates part of Franklin Regional’s capital improvements plan

Patrick Varine
| Wednesday, February 6, 2019 4:30 p.m
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Tribune-Review file
A view from the bleachers looking over the aged turf surface at Franklin Regional’s Panther Stadium in 2008. That turf was replaced in 2009, and replacement for the turf as well as work on the track are proposed in the district’s 2019-20 capital improvements plan. The school board will vote on the plan at its Feb. 18, 2019, meeting.
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Franklin Regional band and band-front seniors jump in the air for a posed photo on the football field. FR school board members will consider replacing the Panther Stadium turf later this month.

If the Franklin Regional school board gives its approval on Monday, Panther athletes will have a newly turfed field for the 2019-20 school year.

Facilities Director Jim Heck briefed the board earlier this month on plans to resurface both the football field turf as well as the track, during an update on the district’s $1.78 million capital improvements plan for 2019 and 2020.

“We’ll roll up the carpeting, lay down new carpet and infield, and we’ll also address the ‘D’ zones at either end of the football field,” Heck said.

The two “D” zones will be graded, graveled and overlaid with new rubber and turf.

“It’ll give more practice area for other sports, and it will increase our soft play area out there by about 27 percent,” Heck said.

Superintendent Gennaro Piraino said addressing the “D” zones is also a safety issue.

“Not so much for football players, who don’t usually run out of the back of the endzone, but I see soccer players chasing the ball into that area,” Piraino said. “When you hit that ‘D’ zone with cleats, it can be like ice. We’ve seen players take falls.”

Heck said work also includes cleaning, packing and resurfacing the track and reconfiguring the high-jump area “to better fit what our coaches need.”

Pending school board approval, the work would be scheduled for this summer, Heck said.

Other potential items in the capital improvement plan include:

• Replacing carpeting that is roughly two decades old at Franklin Regional Middle School.

• Adding custodial equipment used to treat for molds and bacteria.

“That has been quite successful,” Heck said of the spray unit which was purchased following the summer 2016 discovery of mold in the high school library. “I want to try and make sure this summer when we clean that we hit every area at least once, and would like to purchase an additional unit that we’ll keep at the high school.”

• Security enhancements, including additional storage for security footage.

“Right now we keep about 15 to 17 days of (camera-footage) storage,” Heck said. “I’m thinking we’ll need the additional storage, especially as we start adding cameras up at Sloan.”

The capital improvement plan will be on the agenda at the board’s voting meeting at 7:30 p.m. in the Murrysville municipal building, 4100 Sardis Road.

Meetings are also televised live on Comcast local access Channel 19.

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 412-871-8627, pvarine@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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