School board approves new turf field contract for Hopewell Valley Central High School


A new turf field will be installed at Hopewell Valley Central High School.

The Hopewell Valley Regional Board of Education (BOE) voted to approve a $845,000 contract with Hellas Construction, based in Austin, Texas, to replace the deteriorating turf field currently at the high school.

The school board approved the contract with Hellas Construction, which constructs and installs sports facilities and athletic surfaces, at a board meeting on Aug. 22.

“This is a viable investment. The turf [field] right now is falling apart,” said Tripp Becker, director of athletics. “We need to get this done for a safety issue.”

The school board had already set aside $850,000 to cover the replacement of Hopewell Valley Central High School’s (HVCHS) turf field when the board approved the 2022-23 school district budget.

Becker said the main problems of a turf field are always going to be around the lacrosse circles.

“The goalies beat them up and they dig them out,” he said.

Becker noted that Hellas Construction “does not have any failed fields” in the country compared to FieldTurf company’s artificial turfs during a presentation to the board and public.

He described failed fields as fibers that start “falling apart and break up easy.”

“The two main things that destroy turf are use and the sun. A lot of the field turfs from FieldTurf failed because of the sun,” Becker said.

He noted that Hellas Construction “manufactures and installs” their turf.

“Sometimes there is an issue [of] a failed field and the installer blames the turf company, turf company blames the installer, and it is a fight back and forth,” Becker said. “[At] Hellas, they do everything. We do not deal with anyone except Hellas.”

Hellas Construction uses less infill (sand underneath and crumb rubber, black little pellets) and Helix technology. The Helix technology adds memory and strength to the fibers, helps secure infill and minimize splash out, [is] more stable and durable, and is aesthetically pleasing, according to the presentation.

Hellas Construction uses a shock pad underneath the turf field.

“It helps absorb the contact and makes the field safer,” Becker said. “The shock pad is guaranteed for 25 years. This only has to be purchased once and it is good for 25 years.”

He said a lot of the current turf fields are on concrete or crushed stone.

“Over time … that back rubs against the concrete or crushed stone and breaks and the turf falls out. With the Hellas turf sitting on [shock pads], it does not sit on anything abrasive, so it helps the turf last longer,” Becker said.

Hellas Construction turf cost

Becker said, “inflation is hurting everything.” An adjusted quote from the company to Becker for the turf and shock pad came to $845,000. The prior quote for the project was $941,000 from Hellas Construction on Aug. 12.

“First cycle pay $845,000 and that should last you 12-14 years. Second cycle without the pad you are looking at $730,000 (12-14 years),” he said.

The total investment is estimated at $1.57 million for (two cycles 24-28 years), according to the presentation.

If the school board decided to go with FieldTurf, Becker said they would have to replace the turf three times, as opposed to the Hellas turf, which he said they would have to replace only twice.

According to estimates from January 2022, the first cycle of payment totaled $493,625 for eight to 10 years, second cycle totaled $493,625 for eight to 10 years and third cycle totaled $493,625 for eight to 10 years prior to the new inflation costs.

The total estimated at that time was $1.48 million for three cycles of 24-30 years.

“I guarantee you it is not $493,625 anymore. I guarantee you it is a lot more,” Becker said.