By Thomas Sellers Jr.
What do Whitehaven, Lausanne, Bartlett and Memphis University School all have in common?
Besides successful football programs making recent deep runs, all those Memphis-area schools have turf fields.
Millington Central Middle High School wants to be next in line by the start of the 2022 high school football season in August. With nearby Tipton County Schools scheduled to install turf fields at Munford, Brighton and Covington, Millington Municipal Schools director of operations and transportation Phil LeBlanc said it is time for Millington to enhance Mooney Boswell Field.
“It is for our children,” he said. “This field will not only serve the high school students but our community. This turf will help us be more competitive and display our invest in our children and community.”
LeBlanc, who oversees the enhancements and developments of all the institutions within the MMS District, noted how the athletic teams use the football field and turf at Mooney Boswell Field. Also local youth teams, residents exercising and other civic groups are active at the facility.
“If you go out to the track and field you can get 50 hours out of the grass field,” LeBlanc noted. “With a Field Turf you can get 500 hours a year of activity.”
The popular brand name of the surface is Field Turf. FieldTurf is a brand of artificial turf playing surface that has been popping up all over the world the past 20 years. It is manufactured and installed by FieldTurf Tarkett, a division of French company Tarkett. FieldTurf is headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and its primary manufacturing facility is located in Calhoun, Georgia, United States.
MMSD is trying to raise $1.8 million for the overall project which includes the field, track and renovations around the track. LeBlanc joined the MMSD team in September 2019 and the turf field project started in March 2020.
MMSD has raised 50% of the financial goal. Next step is getting ready to present the proposal ot the Millington School Board by the February meeting.
The turf field project is just the latest improvement for Millington schools. Those who have attended a basketball game at the William Osteen Gymnasium have seen painting, new roof, additional LED lights and improved air control.
LeBlanc noted $2.4 million in HVAC air quality control, weather proofing, secured roofing and energy efficient LED lighting in the schools.
The next visible investment in Millington’s education for the youth will be the turf field. The surface is composed of monofilament polyethylene blend fibers tufted into a polypropylene backing.
The surface will provide ideal conditions for football, the band, NJROTC, soccer teams and even practices for softball and baseball.
“This can be the nucleus for schools — our school district,” LeBlanc said. “Civic sports and we have middle school sports at the school more now. It’s time for us to be able to do this for all our children.”
Meeting the financial goal will kick off this phase 1 of improving the stadium. If interested in donating to the cause visit https://sway.office.com/UHNEAIrd78l6iVBG or search One Millington, One Turf.