Omaha Skutt is the next high school in the Omaha area that will install synthetic turf on its playing field.
School principal Patrick Slattery said donations, mostly from football and soccer parents, are paying for the upgrade to Moylan Field at the school, 3131 S. 156th St.
Construction is to begin May 21 and be completed in time for the SkyHawks’ season-opening football game on Aug. 23, a televised contest against Gretna.
“The current football field is in need of major repair after years of use,’’ Slattery said in a statement. “If synthetic turf were not installed, the school would still realize a significant expense to re-grade the field. The new turf field will benefit multiple school programs.”
Skutt will be the fourth of the seven schools in the River Cities Conference to play their home football games on non-grass surfaces. Ralston was the first, with Beatrice building a new stadium that opens this fall. Omaha Gross uses Bryan Stadium.
Omaha Roncalli and South Sioux City, which have their own stadiums, and new RCC member Elkhorn Mount Michael, which plays its games at Elkhorn Middle School, are the RCC schools still playing on grass fields.
All 16 Metro Conference schools play football on synthetic turf, as do 11 of the other 12 schools in Class A. Fremont uses the grass field at the city’s municipal stadium.
Other Class B schools that use turf fields are Crete, Elkhorn, Elkhorn South, Hastings, Nebraska City and Seward. Columbus joins that group this year as the city stadium at Pawnee Park is getting a new field and track. Falls City’s Jug Brown Stadium also has turf.
Skutt will move its home soccer matches from an unlighted field to the 3,000-seat stadium, Slattery said.
After a year of research, school officials bought the turf from ATG Sports, based in Wichita, Kan. The new Ramturf is eco-friendly, ATG’s Don Bolinger said in a statement. It will conserve 75,000 gallons of water weekly and it is built totally from recycled rubber.
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