South Broward High Among the First Broward Schools to Install Synthetic Turf Fields

Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) is investing $3.6 million investment for state-of-the-art synthetic turf fields at county high schools. The initiative will see Hollywood’s South Broward High School along with Deerfield Beach High School, and Dillard High School become the first recipients of these advanced playing surfaces after being identified as having some of the most significant issues with field deterioration. 

The decision to switch to artificial turf fields follows extensive research and discussions by District officials. There is considerable debate among experts on whether natural grass or synthetic turf is safer. Synthetic turf fields are built with features that soften falls, reducing the risk of certain types of injuries. Additionally, the improved drainage systems allow the fields to dry quickly after rainy weather, minimizing disruptions. 

The NFL Players Union and International Soccer governing body FIFA, however, point to research showing increased leg injuries on artificial surfaces. A key advantage the new fields will have over natural grass surfaces is increased use. Natural grass surfaces suffer from wear and tear, especially in South Florida’s warm, humid climate. The uneven surfaces created by heavily used fields can result in a number of injuries.

“By installing these new turf fields, we are creating a safer environment for our athletes to compete and train,” BCPS Superintendent Dr. Peter B. Licata said. “We believe this change will contribute to the overall well-being and athletic development of our students.”  

The change will also provide a benefit for physical education classes, marching bands and other recreational activities that utilize the fields. The new surface offers a safe and reliable environment that will enable schools to play and practice without having to take time off to resod and fix the fields, which saves time and money. At times, schools have had to resod the natural fields multiple times throughout the year, costing approximately $52,000 each time. 

“The convenience of being able to utilize our athletic facilities year-round will be a game-changer for sports teams and students who participate in other outdoor activities and rely on the use of the fields,” Dr. Licata added. “They will be a wonderful asset for the entire school community.”

Installation of the turf fields at the three high schools is expected to be completed in the fall of 2024.