Monday, July 28, 2014
"...artificial turf price turned out to be $205,178 over the outside contributions. That money had to be made up from the MCPS budget."
WHEREAS, The cost of the project is approximately $1.3 million
Public Comment on
Amendment to the FY15-20 Capital Improvements Program and
Supplemental Appropriation #1-S15-CMCPS-l to the FY15 Capital Budget
Montgomery County Public Schools
Building Modifications and Program Improvements (No. 076506), $1,300,000
Winston Churchill High School Artificial Turf
July 22, 2014
The Montgomery County Council has been in this position before and your last decision on a similar Montgomery County Board of Education proposal cost taxpayers $205,178.
The Board of Education has made it very clear in their proposal to install artificial turf at Churchill High School that if the outside funding is not sufficient the Board of Education will make up the difference from the MCPS budget.
That is exactly the same scenario as with the Wootton High School artificial turf deal. The Board of Education told you the field would be paid for from outside funds. However, as usual, the Board of Education does not put out a Request for Proposal or take bids when they install an artificial turf football field. These construction projects are not bid out and the sole source supplier, FieldTurf, can set any price they desire for these projects. The Wootton High School artificial turf price turned out to be $205,178 over the outside contributions. That money had to be made up from the MCPS budget.
The proposal before you today is the same as the Wootton High School proposal. The Board of Education says the project will cost “approximately” $1.3 million. If the project goes over $1.3 million where will the extra funds come from? Will taxpayers once again be on the hook for the surprise increase in cost on a project that was presented as only using outside funding? The memo from Superintendent Starr to the Board of Education once again says that MCPS will make up any difference in cost.
If the project cost exceeds the $1.3 million contribution amount, the shortfall may be met through the funds collected for community use and the savings accumulated each year via not having to maintain the current grass field---such as grass cutting, fertilizing, overseeding, and irrigating expenses (Page 1 of Superintendent Joshua Starr's memo to BOE. Circle 4 in today's packet.)
The assertion that any surprise increase in cost can be made up from community use is not based on known facts. MCPS is estimating that the fees from community use of the existing 6 artificial turf fields will only bring in $40,000 in the next year. At that rate it is going to take the next 5 years to pay off the Wootton High School debt. Any Churchill High School debt wouldn't be paid back from these fees until after 2019.
Please note that the Churchill lease is for 10 years. That is beyond the useful life of an artificial turf field. The Walter Johnson High School field is already disintegrating after only 5 years and the Richard Montgomery High School field is fading after only 6 years. 19 tons of crumb rubber washed off the Richard Montgomery High School artificial turf field in the first 2 years and had to be replaced. The annual maintenance cost of MCPS artificial turf fields is not known.
Fun fact: Each crumb rubber artificial turf field requires 120 tons of crumb rubber. The 6 current MCPS artificial turf fields require a total of 720 tons of crumb rubber to remain playable. That means that MCPS and the Montgomery County government have dumped approximately140,000 shredded used tires onto sports fields in the county.
Janis Zink Sartucci
Office of the Superintendent of Schools
MONTGOMERY COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS
June 24, 2013
To: Members of the Board of Education
From: Joshua P. Starr, Superintendent of Schools
Subject: Award of Contract—Thomas S. Wootton High School Artificial Turf Project
WHEREAS, On November 13, 2012, the Montgomery County Board of Education approved the
$200,000 contribution from the Thomas S. Wootton High School Booster Club and the $900,000
contribution from the Bethesda Soccer Club, in accordance with Policy CNE, Facility
Improvements That Are Not Funded With Montgomery County Revenues, for the artificial turf
installation on the stadium field at Thomas S. Wootton High School; and
WHEREAS, On February 5, 2013, the Montgomery County Council approved a supplemental
appropriation for the sum of $1.1 million in contribution funds; and
WHEREAS, Montgomery County Public Schools is a member of The Keystone Purchasing
Network, part of the Association of Educational Purchasing Agencies, which maintains a bid
with FieldTurf USA Inc. for the installation of artificial turf fields; and
WHEREAS, Staff in the Department of Facilities Management solicited a proposal from
FieldTurf USA, Inc. based on the Association of Educational Purchasing Agencies bid; and
WHEREAS, FieldTurf USA, Inc. submitted a proposal in the amount of $1,305,178 for the
installation of artificial turf and associated site work at Thomas S. Wootton High School; and
WHEREAS, Staff in the Department of Facilities Management has reviewed the proposal and
finds the cost reasonable for the scope of work; andMembers of the Board of Education 2 June 24, 2013
WHEREAS, The proposed cost exceeds the $1.1 million contribution amount by $205,178. The
November 13, 2012, Board action states that if the project exceeds the $1.1 million contribution
amount, the shortfall can be paid through funds collected for community use and the savings
accumulated each year from not having to maintain the current grass field; and
WHEREAS, FieldTurf USA, Inc. has completed similar work successfully for Montgomery
County Public Schools; now therefore be it
Resolved, That a contract in the amount of $1,305,178 be awarded to FieldTurf USA, Inc. for the
artificial turf installation at Thomas S. Wootton High School stadium field, contingent upon
receipt of the contributions from the Thomas S. Wootton High School Booster Club and the
Bethesda Soccer Club.