More synthetic turf fields are headed to Edina after a Monday school board vote approved an agreement with synthetic turf vendor FieldTurf.
Four grass fields are switching to synthetic turf and a fifth synthetic field is being replaced with new crumb rubber. The two fields at the Edina Community Center will be completed this summer, and the two at Edina High School are scheduled for summer 2017.
Parents in the district have voiced their concerns about the recycled tire material, surfacing from some reports that have found toxins in crumb rubber. They asked the district to hold off on a decision until later this year, when federal agencies including the EPA are slated to release recommendations on crumb rubber. Superintendent Ric Dressen and his staff have said that crumb rubber is strong and safe.
The fields in Edina will all be priced at the current rate, but the district could end the 2017 field purchase contract if the federal findings recommend crumb rubber shouldn't be used, according to a release from the Edina district.
The board voted 6 to 1 in favor of the agreement, the release said. Sarah Patzloff, the board's vice chair, was the only vote against it, saying she was afraid that if the federal agencies' study recommended removing crumb rubber, the federal government wouldn't provide funding to do so.
At Monday's meeting, board chair Leny Wallen-Friedman called the choice one "that weighs heavily on all of us," according to the release.
"I do take consolation in knowing that our agreement allows for us to do something different in 2017 should the federal study provide conclusive evidence," he said.