At the most recent meeting of Haddonfield’s Recreation Committee, it was revealed that the turf field at Haddonfield Memorial High School will require maintenance within the next few months, if it is to survive to its intended usage limit.
“From what I understand, they’re going to come in, they’re going to take the fill out of the turf, and then inspect the turf, repair anything that needs to be repaired, and then put the new fill in. They have a machine that comes in and sucks the fill out of the turf and they inspect the turf itself, and then put the fill back in,” said Bob Bickel, director of the Recreation Committee.
HMHS athletic director Lefty Banos confirmed that maintenance will be performed on the turf field at some point in the future, and that it is consistent with routine upkeep, rather than any pressing issues with the turf itself.
“What will happen is, they’ll remove the infill, apply a solution that binds the fibers, and then put the fill back in, and that extends the life of the field,” he said.
Banos further stated the turf field is almost 6 years old, and the life of the turf fibers, from the time the turf was initially installed, is anywhere from 10 to 15 years.
“We’re holding preliminary discussions to figure out a time to do so, but we don’t have a definite date when it will happen yet,” he said.
Banos expects to work out a time for the maintenance to occur before the commencement of the next school year.
“We have not had any issues with the turf, it has been performing perfectly. We’re glad that it has been able to serve the community in such a big way,” he added.
In addition, Centennial Field, which has suffered through its own troubles in recent years, has gotten the go-ahead from Public Works to be opened on May 1.
Commissioner John Moscatelli, who cited “some unwelcome bumps along the way” during Centennial’s reconstruction at the Mayor’s Breakfast on Jan. 19, confirmed the May 1 opening date via text exchange with The Sun.
“We still have some work to do before it’s completely finished, but it will be open for practice,” he said.
At the meeting, Bickel said Moscatelli had previously told the Recreation Commission that May 1 was the target they were shooting for, when the borough was forced to go through the second part of the process of re-sodding the field.
“For lacrosse, they would be able to use it for at least the whole month of May. They’re usually done in the early part of June. Then, (the field) gets a little bit of a break, before football would start, some time in August,” Bickel added.
The opening of Centennial is expected to ease the burden of a number of organized youth sports which have been forced to utilize HMHS’ turf field while Centennial underwent extensive rehabilitation.
The Recreation Committee’s next meeting is not expected to occur until the fourth Thursday of September.