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Updated: School Board Nears Votes On FieldTurf, Land Swaps

Artificial playing surface could be installed by start of 2012 football season.

The Oak Creek-Franklin School Board on Monday is scheduled to take up a proposal to install an artificial playing surface at the .

Commonly known by the brand name FieldTurf, the surface looks like real grass but is actually a synthetic playing surface that has become widely-used at football stadiums throughout the country.

If approved Monday, the turf would be installed in time for the start of the 2012 football season.

The estimated cost is $1,042,370, according to minutes of a school board committee meeting Feb. 20. School officials say it can be paid for through the district's exisiting budget and would not require raising taxes.

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Update 10:50 a.m. The School Board could also vote on with the city and Wispark tonight. Under the proposal, the school district would exchange 50 acres of vacant land near Oakwood and Howell for the city-owned Civic Center site at the corner of Puetz and Howell, which could be used for a potential expansion of .

The city would then swap that 50 acres for seven acres at the Delphi site, on which it would build a new library and city hall. Wispark, the development arm of We Energies that also owns the Delphi site, wants to use the 50 acres on Oakwood for the development of a business park.

The swaps need approval of the school board and common council.

Greg in OC March 11, 2012 at 01:42 PM
I can't believe they want to spend a million dollars on artificial turf in this age of funding cuts leading to program cuts. Use that million to enhance the education of our youth.
Mike in OC March 11, 2012 at 03:50 PM
Not a good use of taxpayer money in these economic times.... and I dont care if this doesnt result in an increase in taxes like it says in the article.... it still comes out of the taxpayers pockets....
Chris L March 12, 2012 at 02:36 PM
That is absolutely crazy. These schools are hurting for money for the most basic things and now they have a million for a fancy new field for a program that doesn't generate much revenue at all. How stupid is the school board?
OC Mom March 12, 2012 at 05:34 PM
Our kids are getting less educational support because of "funding cuts" so teachers are patrolling the hallways and supervising in the cafeterias instead of helping kids learn, but somehow the district has over a million dollars for artificial turf? We should all be outraged at this misuse of funds. Get our teachers back in the classrooms and to educating our kids.
OC parent March 12, 2012 at 06:07 PM
Over I million for artificial turf?? Truly unbelievable that it's even being considered when there are so many more important things that money could help fund
Sharon B March 12, 2012 at 06:15 PM
This is crazy! I would love to see the cost benefit analysis of artificial turf vs "real" turf. How many decades can we maintain the real turf for $1million? I agree, let's put education back on the front burner and skip the artificial turf! Maybe we could then afford to hire more teachers, aides or admin assistants instead of relying on parents to come in and "help" grade papers, make copies, etc!
Sandy C March 12, 2012 at 06:17 PM
Great comments...any of you calling your school board members to let them know how you feel or attending tonight's meeting to speak for the people of OC?
OC Mom March 12, 2012 at 06:52 PM
I can't attend, but have left 3 messages with board members. This should not pass and hopefully more people will attend the meeting or make phone calls!
OC Mom March 12, 2012 at 06:53 PM
Board members phone numbers are listed on the School District website under Board.
Jane Brown March 13, 2012 at 02:32 AM
Artificial turf? While the grade schools have crumblimg foundations, rotting window frames, and leaking rooves? Our entire School Board only seems to think of spending funds on things that would bring them a "Wow" factor! I'm soooo tired of them spending money for atheletics and not on what is truely necessary!!!

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