COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Soccer and lacrosse parents at AC Flora have had to shuttle their student-athletes to other schools for games and practice…while their brand new field sits unused.
“It’s frustrating,” said John Sherrer, who has children that play soccer and lacrosse. “Not just for the players, but also the parents.”
The field was originally shut down on February 12th when the district said the turf needed to be refilled. Weeks later, it was briefly re-opened, before getting closed again.
“That’s a problem, not being able to play on your home field,” said lacrosse parent David Condon. “Then there’s the disruption to schedules and traveling, not knowing where practice might be.”
One parent caught video of a lacrosse game during the time when the field was briefly re-opened that appears to show players slipping on the field.
“It rained later that night, but before it was raining, the field was dry and a number of players were slipping and falling down,” said lacrosse announcer Summers Duffy. “We talked about that at the press box because we felt like something wasn’t right.”
The turf field costs more than $728,000, and district officials told WIS the field needed to be refilled, saying that the costs of those repairs would lie on the vendor, a company called First Form.
Taxpayers and parents say if that’s true, they clearly aren’t getting their money’s worth.
“We wouldn’t let any of the students play if the facilities weren’t safe, but they put taxpayer dollars into it and have not gotten what they paid,” Condon said. “So we’d kind of like to the see the school board and the superintendent step up and get this thing done right.”
WIS received a statement from the school district earlier that read: “The field was closed as a safety precaution because we still have concerns about the condition of the field. While we are working with the vendor to resolve those issues, practices and games have been relocated and that schedule has been communicated to students and parents by the school. We do not have an estimated date of completion at this time.”