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Monarch turf damage has BVSD taking cautious approach to plowing

Boulder Valley School District officials are still trying to determine what led to the damage to the artificial turf playing field at Monarch High last week.

But they were taking as few chances as possible this week when it came to plowing other similar fields in the district.

The district plowed all of its artificial turf fields last week as schools scrambled to get games in after a wave of April snowstorms caused the cancellations of many contests.

All of the fields came out fine except for the one at Monarch, where tire track depressions were left by the plow truck.

BVSD athletic director Michele DeBerry said the Monarch field had damage last summer that was repaired in August. She said district officials are still trying to figure out whether the new damage is an off-shoot of the old or whether the new problems possibly stem from structural issues with the turf itself that led to it giving way under the truck.

DeBerry pointed out that all of the other fields — not to mention fields in other districts — have withstood plowing fine. But BVSD opted to proceed on the safe side this week when another Monday/Tuesday snowstorm hit.

The district did plow the field at Broomfield, which is scheduled to be replaced this summer as part of the district’s regularly-scheduled rotation. But the fields at Boulder, Fairview, Centaurus, Nederland and Monarch were all left to melt off on their own.

DeBerry said the district could very well return to plowing the fields in the future. But after three straight weeks of heavy, wet snow, officials decided it was best to let the fields completely dry out until it was determined whether there was an issue inherent with the turf that didn’t allow it to hold up while so saturated.

DeBerry said it was yet to be determined whether the Monarch field could be fixed or would need replaced.

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