The Greater Victoria School District has announced it is planning to remove and replace the artificial turf field at Oak Bay High School due to shedding.
The field was closed in November 2019 after reports that the field was shedding plastic grass blades.
The district said it plans to cut the current turf into strips that can be rolled up to limit possible shedding. After, the rubber infill pellets will be collected to reuse on the new replacement field.
“All remaining material will be carefully collected, contained and transported to a recycling facility,” the district said in a release.
The district said it chose to take a longer route for loading by removing a section of fencing on the southeast side of the field and to move the rolls to the trucks via the concrete pathways. According to the district, this will minimize the potential risk of any fibres entering Bowker Creek as it avoids the creek’s bridge.
After the original turf is gone, the new field will be installed. The district said the new artificial turf will be rolled out into sections then fused together.
Once the field is assembled and lines placed, the reused infill will be installed. The district will also add a permanent perimeter around the field and additional filters to prevent any debris from leaving the property.
“We are very excited to have this turf replaced and look forward to seeing it utilized by our community again. Weather permitting, we are hopeful to have this field open for use come mid-August,” Greater Victoria School District Board Chair Jordan Watters said in a statement.
The field replacement is tentatively scheduled to start on July 15. The entire project is estimated to take approximately four weeks.
“This field adds such value to our community by creating a space for both students and members of the public to engage in play and physical education. It will be great to see players back on the field,” Bays United Football Club Board President Howard McElderry said in a statement.
“While the original turf prematurely shed, the supplier is committed to replacing the surface under warranty, and Bays remains confident that the mat and rubber infill pellets are still the best and safest playing surface choice.”
The original field was installed back in 2016.