Montgomery County Public Schools
Read the August 8, 2018 memorandum from Superintendent Jack R. Smith in response to questions from members of the Board of Education concerning process of removal of the old artificial turf field and cleanup of materials
MCPS is in the process of replacing the artificial turf field at Richard Montgomery High School and will replace it with a new organic infill field in the coming weeks. Read the message from Chief Operating Officer Dr. Andrew Zuckerman.
Mission & Management
The primary goal of the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Artificial Turf Fields Program is to provide safe, high quality stadium fields at all high schools. Artificial turf fields support the core values of MCPS Athletics by providing safe competition and promoting equity and access across the interscholastic athletics program. The installation and replacement of artificial turf fields is coordinated by the MCPS Department of Facilities Management, while the maintenance program for artificial turf fields is coordinated by the central Athletics Unit.
MCPS Artificial Turf Fields
MCPS currently has artificial turf fields at eight high schools and one elementary school.
Montgomery Blair High School **
Albert Einstein High School
Gaithersburg High School
Walter Johnson High School
Richard Montgomery High School
Paint Branch High School
Walt Whitman High School
Thomas S. Wootton High School**
Somerset Elementary School
*The artificial turf field at Richard Montgomery was resurfaced during the summer of 2018.
**The artificial turf field at Montgomery Blair High School is owned and operated by the Maryland-National Capital Parks and Planning Commission. A replacement surface was recently installed in March 2017.
Upcoming Artificial Turf Projects
MCPS is finalizing new artificial turf field projects at Albert Einstein and Walt Whitman high schools, with construction expected to be completed in August 2018. Additionally, the surface at Richard Montgomery High School is being replaced during the summer of 2018. All three fields are expected to open for the fall 2018 athletic season and will feature an organic infill – clinoptilolite zeolite. Additionally, two artificial turf fields are envisioned through a partnership agreement with Montgomery Soccer, Inc. at Julius West Middle School. The surface at Walter Johnson High School is scheduled for replacement during the summer of 2019.
Why Artificial Turf Fields?
Artificial Turf Fields:
Maintenance & Inspection
MCPS features a systemwide, uniform maintenance plan for all artificial turf fields, which includes a comprehensive maintenance and testing program. The advanced and standard care maintenance programs at Gaithersburg, Walter Johnson, Paint Branch and Wootton high schools, along with biannual GMAX testing, are performed by FieldTurf. The advanced and standard care maintenance programs include the following services:
Maintenance at the newly installed turf fields at Albert Einstein, Richard Montgomery, and Walt Whitman high schools will be coordinated with the respective installation contractors.
A summary of the MCPS Maintenance Plan for each high school can be viewed here.
Due to the comprehensive, systemwide maintenance plan, there is minimal if any, additional maintenance responsibilities for local school staff. Local school staff predominantly scout high traffic areas, monitor the infill depth of the field, and identify tears. In certain instances, school staff perform the brushing, raking, and sweeping on the field.
Maintenance Plan Reports and Records
All maintenance plan reports and records for MCPS-owned high school artificial turf fields can be found in the 2018-2019 MCPS Artificial Turf Maintenance Log. *Artificial Turf Maintenance Log should be viewed using Google Chrome.
The Log features a summary sheet for each school which includes the following information:
** As a reminder, due to the systemwide, comprehensive maintenance plan provided by the vendor (FieldTurf) there is minimal, if any, additional maintenance performed by local school staff.
Archived maintenance logs, including GMAX Test information, can be found at the link below:
A GMAX test measures the level of shock absorbency for a field. Following nationally recognized industry standards, MCPS complies with a GMAX limit of 200, established by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) – ASTM F1936-10 and ASTM F355-16. To ensure compliance with ASTM guidelines, an independent testing agency conducts GMAX test on a biannual basis.
The most recent GMAX test results for MCPS artificial turf fields are available in the 2018-2019 MCPS Artificial Turf Maintenance Log. *Artificial Turf Maintenance Log should be viewed using Google Chrome.
The general MCPS weather guidelines govern the MCPS athletics program and are available in the Health and Safety section of the Athletics webpage.
Additionally, due to artificial surface fields generating greater heat than natural surface fields on warm and hot days, MCPS utilizes the following guidelines to promote safety. The following language is extracted from the MCPS High School Athletics Handbook:
A heat warning sign is also posted at all artificial turf fields to inform community user groups of heat-related conditions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Montgomery County Public Schools continues to seek long-term partnership opportunities to expand the artificial turf field program in MCPS high school stadiums. For additional information, please contact the 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/ to secure the use of one of the MCPS-owned artificial turf fields.