The costs of installing turf fields at Leon County High Schools has changed dramatically over the last six years, from $910,000 in 2017 to $2.5 million in 2023 – a 175% increase.
Public records (see below) from Leon County Schools shows that the installation of the turf field at Cox Stadium cost $910,108 in 2017 and the most recently completed turf field, at Lincoln High School, cost $2.53 million.
Media reports in 2022 indicated the cost of the Lincoln installation would be approximately 1.8 million. This estimate was off by over $700,000.
In 2019 when the Leon County School Board voted to move forward with the installation of a turf field at Chiles High School, Tallahassee Reports wrote that the the estimated cost was $850,000. The final cost came in at $1.3 million – a 53% increase.
TR has asked LCS for a comment related to the cost increases.
One of the rationales for converting the fields to turf was the maintenance costs associated with natural fields, approximately $80,000 each year. With the increasing costs of the turf fields, are the installations a benefit to taxpayers? Beyond the money saved in avoided maintenance costs, are there other benefits associated with turf fields?
Check back with TR for answers to these questions.