Q. What is artificial turf?
A. Artificial turf is a synthetic carpet-like surface covering consisting of man-made materials that are grass-like in appearance and function. The surface “blades” are interspersed with a soil-like base made of sand or rubber or a combination thereof that provide the stability and uniformity needed. When used on athletic fields, it provides a consistent playing surface built to withstand extended use without down time for recovery.
Q. Why is Westlake High School seeking to replace the natural grass surface on the main athletic field with artificial turf?
A. Due to the significant cost involved in maintaining a natural grass field the stadium field is only used for football 40 days out of the year. This means only a handful of students benefit from using the field for approximately 160 hours per year. This represents severe under-utilization of the already limited outdoor facility space for physical education, athletics, marching band and extra-curricular activities. An artificial turf field will dramatically increase the utilization, making the field almost always available. It is estimated that the artificial turf field will be used 2,500+ hours per year based on statistics provided by other area high schools.
Q. Are these synthetic surfaces player friendly?
A. When artificial turf surfaces were introduced, there were many myths and perceptions about injuries. These perceptions have changed with the knowledge that injuries are usually sport specific and not related to the playing surface whether it be natural or synthetic.
Q. What are the real benefits of synthetic turf?
A. Benefits differ from activity to activity and also depend upon the quality and design specified. In general, synthetic fields are always ready for use. They hold up to frequent use, and require significantly less labor and maintenance expense.
Q. In addition to school programs, will the fields be available for community use?
A. When not in use for school and district programs, the fields will be available for community use in keeping with current board policies.
Q. How did the turf stadium project come about?
A. This project is a response to the growing need for an all weather stadium surface that improves and expands track facilities for athletic, musical and community activities. This significantly improves the usability for all of our teams and musical performers and builds on our community at Westlake.
Q. Who is leading this effort?
A. A committee of volunteers has been formed that is comprised of members of the community, and parents of current and past students. The overarching organization is the non-profit Westlake Athletic Development Foundation- (WADF), a non profit IRS approved 501 c3 organization.
Q. Has the Board of Education and the schools staff endorsed this project?
A. Yes. The Board of Education approved a preliminary study that helped kick-off the project. The Superintendent, Treasurer/CFO, Business Manager, and Athletic Director, have helped lead the effort to determine the requirements of the stadium to ensure that all sports and other activities are included in the process.
Q. Are there any limitations on how often the field can be used?
A. No, all turf companies guarantee their product for 10+ years regardless of usage. This is one of the great advantages of synthetic turf. It is anticipated that the field can be used nearly year round, as many hours of the day as needed.
Q. Who will get to use the field and who will manage the priorities?
A. T he school administration will manage the field and set the priorities. In general, high school activities take precedence, whether it is for athletic or musical events or practices. However, given the capability to use the field throughout the day and into the evening with lights, youth sports and other community activities will have access to the field.
Q. What is the financial goal of the project?
A. A goal of $800,000.00 dollars has been set for the initial project.
Q. Why isn’t the school district proposing a tax levy for the project?
A. The goal of this fund raising effort is to bring needed improvements to the district and community without additional tax dollars.
Q. Can I place my donation in my will or as part of a planned estate giving gift?
A. For this specific project, the money is needed in a short period of time and therefore an estate gift is not applicable.
Q. How much would I have to donate to have a field/portion of a field named after me or someone I wish to name it after?
A. There is a comprehensive list published by the WADF, summarizing donor levels including naming rights and signage.
Q. Who do I make my check out to and where do I send it?
A. Make checks payable to: Westlake Athletic Development Foundation. PO Box 451013, Westlake OH 44145. Additionally, credit card patments are accepted online via PayPal here.
Q. Can I make my gift in memory or honor of someone?
A. Yes! We’d be happy to acknowledge your gift as an honorary or memorial contribution, and send a notification to the person(s) to whom you are honoring.