Mud's days at Chesterton are numbered.
The Duneland School board voted unanimously Monday to install Field Turf at the high school stadium.
"I'm pleased for the youth of our community," Chesterton athletic director Garry Nallenweg said. "This takes a football field and turns it into a multiuse facility. The board really worked hard. They did a lot of research. They had weekly meetings, sometimes twice a week. I applaud their effort."
The field will be prepared after next week's track regional for the project's start in early June and it will be ready for use when the 2011-12 school year begins.
The estimated cost of the project is $776,000. The Friends of Duneland Youth Organization, according to Nallenweg, has already raised $110,000 and has another $72,000 in pledges. The fundraising campaign, he stressed, is ongoing, with families and businesses able to purchase inscribed bricks for $100 to be placed at the stadium.
"They've done an unbelievable job," Nallenweg said.
The same sand base and rubber backing will be used underneath, but Chesterton turf will be the company's newest product, called Revolution.
"It's the first fiber we've manufactured ourselves at our own plant," Jamie MacDonald, the regional sales manager for Indiana and Michigan, said. "It's got its own geometry and its own polymer. The process is geared toward greater durability, resiliency and ability to stay upright."
Football and boys track coach John Snyder is happy to see Chesterton joining the growing ranks of local schools with a synthetic surface.
"Obviously, I'm excited for our football program, but even more for our school and the kids of Chesterton," he said. "I've always been for kids doing multiple sports and now they all get the opportunity to benefit from it. When we'd go to other schools that had turf, there was always a little jealousy, a little envy. Given our existing facility, I think it's outstanding."