Montgomery County Public Schools
The surface turf replacement project began in January 2020. Click here to view the June 2020 update on the Walter Johnson turf replacement project. Previous updates regarding the project can be found below:
Removal and Recycling of the Infill and Synthetic Turf Carpet - February Update
Project Timeline and Planned Activities - January Update.
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 ten high schools, one middle school and two elementary schools.
Bethesda Chevy-Chase High 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
Wheaton 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.
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, along with biannual GMAX testing, are performed by Keystone Sports Construction at all schools except Seneca Valley and Walter Johnson. The new fields at both Seneca Valley and Walter Johnson will be maintained as part of the 1-year, post installation maintenance plan for new construction. Maintenance programs include the following services:
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 2020-2021 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:
Please click here for updated information regarding artificial turf systems, including onsite testing conducted in July 2019 at Albert Einstein, Richard Montgomery, and Walt Whitman high schools. Information and results from previous laboratory testing in January 2019 on artificial turf systems can be found here.
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 2020-2021 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.