TurfIt: Because the grass isn’t always greener

Muirlands project still needs funds

By Kirsten Adams


The Muirlands Foundation is currently about $400,000 from beginning construction on a new, synthetic turf field at Muirlands Middle School.

School officials say the project, called “TurfIt” and estimated to cost slightly over $1 million, is needed because extensive overuse of the old, natural grass field began causing a slew of injuries.

“It’s an ankle breaker,” said Dana Shelburne, La Jolla High School principal. “That field is a piece of junk.”

About 1,000 Muirlands Middle School students use the field daily for PE and intramural sports. The facility is also home to overflow from La Jolla High School’s athletic program, including baseball, junior varsity football, field hockey and soccer.

“We have an after-school need for that facility on a yearround basis,” Shelburne said.

Besides students, the field is also open for community use, including youth athletic programs and family events. Shelburne said he hopes the public will understand the new synthetic turf will be an upgrade that benefits the entire La Jolla community, and also the urgency of the project.

“We’re pushing to begin construction this summer, so we’re trying to finish fundraising by the end of this month,” Shelburne said. “If we can’t it could fall apart.”

Chris Hargrave, Principal of Muirlands Middle School, said the Foundation has been sitting on some of the money for the project for the past two years, and time is running out to complete the fundraising.

So far the TurfIt Committee has succeeded in raising $550,000, with an additional $50,000 worth of donated services for demolition of the old field.

“It’s very significant that people are donating services,” Hargrave said.

Currently, the TurfIt Committee is requesting more service donations for field preparation and donations of supplies such as perforated pipes and earth moving machines. Shelburne said they are also searching for a donation of $250,000 for naming rights to the field.

With only $400,000 left to go, Shelburne said it is important that the community realize how close the project is to completion.

“We need the community to step up, and we need them to step up yesterday,” Shelburne said.