News center
Deep expertise in sales and manufacturing strategies

North Royalton Schools to replace natural turf with artificial on baseball, softball fields

May 03, 2023

The North Royalton school board has hired FieldTurf to install artificial turf on two ball fields. (Bob Sandrick, special to

NORTH ROYALTON, Ohio -- The North Royalton City School District will pay FieldTurf, a global firm with headquarters in Montreal, up to $1.7 million to replace natural turf with an artificial surface on a baseball field and a softball field.

The school board voted unanimously May 8 to approve the contract with FieldTurf. The two fields are immediately east of North Royalton High and Middle schools.

Superintendent Michael Laub said construction is scheduled to begin Aug. 1 and take about three months to complete, depending on the weather.

"Those fields are not typically used in the fall," Laub told last week in an email.

The district's estimated cost of the turf installation was $1.5 million. Laub said the $1.7 million amount includes a $200,000 contingency fund -- part or all of which might never be used -- to cover unforeseen expenses.

Laub has stated that artificial turf costs less to maintain, plays better than grass and is usable in all kinds of weather. Artificial turf also can be adapted for other sports besides baseball and softball, providing opportunities for field rental revenue.

The school district shares the baseball and softball fields with the city's recreation department. Under various agreements over the years, the schools have leased the baseball and softball fields, along with two natural-turf soccer fields, from the city at no cost since 2011.

The baseball and softball fields are partly in the city's Memorial Park off State Road and partly on district property. The soccer fields are entirely in the city park.

Under the latest field-sharing agreement, the schools will have priority use of the baseball and softball fields in March, April and May and the soccer fields in August, September and October. The city will have priority use of the fields in all other months.

"Each party agrees and acknowledges that the athletic (fields) will be available for use by the general public. ... The district will not charge city recreational baseball or softball leagues a fee," the agreement says.

The city will waive building permit fees for the construction of artificial turf. The district will pay a third-party firm to review construction plans and specifications at a cost no more than what the district would have paid for building permit fees.

The district will maintain a section of a walking path, which runs through and around the entire park, that is near the athletic fields. In addition, the district will keep the athletic fields in good condition, paying for repairs when necessary, under the agreement.

The schools will pay the entire cost of the artificial turn installation. The schools will not spend general fund money on the athletic fields -- if the budget stays within $1.5 million. They will instead be using money raised through the sale of three cell phone towers on district property.

However, if the cost exceeds $1.5 million, the district will dip into its permanent improvements fund, Laub told the school board May 8.

The city and schools also share tennis and basketball courts in Memorial Park. The schools are responsible for maintaining the courts.

Read more from the Sun Star Courier.

If you purchase a product or register for an account through one of the links on our site, we may receive compensation.