Graduation and Synthetic Turf

The month of May is around the corner and seniors are starting to get ready for the end of their high school days. Students are starting to say goodbye to friends and family while making plans to head off to college, but students aren’t the only ones making plans. Schools are preparing for graduation ceremonies and making the decisions on where they need to be hosted and what they need to host graduation.

Graduation is something every student looks forward to with pride and belief that great things are to come. This is embodied in the ceremony and days leading to that moment. Schools that rent complexes and theater halls are giving the students an experience, but schools that use their own sports fields are showcasing student memories. The trade-offs of each are weighed but according to officials at Methuen High School in Massachusetts the Rangers chose to host their moment on their own synthetic turf saying:

“It’s what the students in the end said they wanted and it is such a special day for the kids, we don’t want to disappoint them” – Judith Scannell, Superintendent of Schools

Although, it is a special day preparations need to be made in order to protect the facility’s synthetic turf from wear and tear or creating an uncomfortable experience for the participants. Synthetic turf keeps the field looking amazing everyday even with extreme use but can also suffer under unusual circumstances. One of these circumstances comes from the stage used in  presenting each student with their diploma. The stage can cut into the turf and also manipulate the grading of the surface underneath the field. This can be prevented by using a protective covering over the turf as well as plywood or a Geo-textile blanket underneath the stage. The next dilemma that can easily fixed is supplying specialized rounded chairs. Regular 4-legged chairs can also cut into the turf causing damage but can be stopped by adding rubber or rounded bottoms to each chair.

These tips can help each school make their graduation ceremony memorable not only for the students and parents, but also for the school itself.