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Montgomery County Public Schools 

Artificial Turf Fields Program

Paint Branch HS Artificial Turf      

Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Artificial Turf Field Program's primary goal is to provide safe, high quality stadium fields at all high schools.  MCPS currently has artificial turf fields at six high schools and installation is underway at one elementary school.

Location Year Opened
Richard Montgomery High School August 2008
Montgomery Blair High School** July 2009
Walter Johnson High School April 2010
Gaithersburg High School August 2012
Paint Branch High School August 2013
Thomas S. Wootton High School September 2013
Somerset Elementary School (In Progress) September 2016

**The artificial turf field at Montgomery Blair High School is owned and operated by Maryland-National Capital Parks and Planning Commission.

Why Artificial Turf Fields at High Schools?

  • Provide high quality professional level playing fields
  • Provides high quality practice fields
  • Allow safe year-round use under most weather conditions
  • Require less maintenance
  • Offer approximately 10-year life cycle
  • Provides a greater degree of equity
  • Creates enhanced opportunities for community groups and school teams
  • Supports the academic program (creates high-quality physical education (PE) teaching stations)
  • Fewer cancellations/disruptions to people's schedules
  • Pesticide free
  • Saves water 

Maintenance & Inspections

In addition to brushing once or twice per month performed by the school-based staff, an existing "Advanced Care" agreement is in place with the manufacturer to provide biannual maintenance and inspection services that includes:

  • a general sweeping and cleaning, including magnet sweeping, to remove foreign objects such as dirt, leaves, bird droppings, gum and other debris that may collect on the field surface; and
  • a deep power grooming, sweep and rejuvenation to de-compact infill to maintain appropriate G-Max levels; and
  • add additional infill as needed in high traffic areas; and
  • inspection of infill depth and consistency, infill migration, field edging attachments, sewn and glued seams, line verification, and field inlays; and
  • conduct G-Max test on annual basis.

G-Max Test

G-Max test measures level of shock absorbency.  Following the industry standards, Montgomery County Public Schools complies with a limit of 200 established by American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM)  ASTM F1936-10 and  ASTM F355-16.  To ensure compliancy with ASTM guidelines, an independent testing agency conducts G-Max test on annual basis.  Most recent G-Max test result are available by clicking on the preferred location below.

Infill Mix

  • Artificial turf fields at all six high schools currently have crumb rubber infill mix.  When the artificial turf field is replaced after its anticipated 10-year lifecycle, the crumb rubber infill mix will be replaced with either organic or other alternative infill mix.
  • As a pilot project, the artificial turf field currently being installed at Somerset Elementary School will use PureFill©, organic cork and sand mixture infill mix.

Heat Guidelines

The following is MCPS heat guidelines that apply specifically to activities conducted on artificial turf fields. 

  • Anytime the outdoor temperature exceeds 80 degrees, coaches exercise caution in conducting activities on artificial turf fields. 
  • When outdoor temperatures exceed 90 degrees, coaches may hold one regular morning or evening practice (before 12 noon or after 5:00 pm). 
  • When the heat index is between 91-104 degrees between the hours of 12:00 noon and 5:00 p.m., school athletic activities are restricted on artificial turf fields to one hour, with water breaks every 20 minutes.

A heat warning sign is posted at all artificial turf fields to inform community user groups.

Frequently Asked Questions 

  • For answers to frequently asked questions, click here.  

Partnerships

Montgomery County Public Schools continues to seek long-term partnership opportunities to expand the artificial turf fields at all high school stadiums.  For additional information, please contact Department of Facilities Management at 240-314-1069.

Artificial Turf Field Reservation for Community Use

Please contact Montgomery County Community Use of Public Facilities at 240-777-2725 or visit their homepage at http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/cupf/

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