Artificial turf field approved for Wootton High -- Gazette.Net


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Thomas S. Wootton High School athletes are one step closer to a new turf field.

After a long discussion about the potential health concerns involved, the Montgomery County Council approved Tuesday an artificial turf stadium field for Thomas S. Wootton High School.

The field should be complete by fall if all goes as planned, said Scott Vincentz, a club member who organizes fundraising.

The $1.1 million project will be constructed with private funds. The Bethesda Soccer Club will provide $900,000 and the school’s booster club will provide $200,000.

As the synthetic fields have been installed at three other high schools in the county in the last five years, opponents have spoken out about the health and safety risks for those playing on the fields, which are mostly made of crumbled rubber from tires.

Synthetic fields last longer and require less maintenance, but health and safety concerns include heat stress, injury, infection, latex allergy and chemical exposure.

The education committee recommended Tuesday that the full council approve the project, mainly because it was being installed with private funding.