Cork field brings renewed excitement


Jayden Enclade, Reporter

The new cork field has received solid review from students and staff. While the cork infill costs 20 percent more than alternative infills, it is more environmental friendly and doesn’t have the health risks rubber has according to the environmental news site Earth911.  

Heat concerns dominated the decision of which infill to choose. According to The New York State Department of Health, heat is a huge issue for crumb rubber infills. An experiment done at the University of Missouri concluded that on a sunny 98 degree day, the surface temperature of their crumb rubber infill was 138 degrees.

Physical Education teacher Rene Ayala has spent time on the new cork field with his P.E. classes and soccer clinics.

“It feels considerably softer and cooler than the field it replaced.” Ayala said.

He emphasized the importance that people do their part in making the $641,801 field a success.

Students eat out on the field during lunch, and I think we need to stress the importance of cleaning up after ourselves. Also, existing rules like banning animals from the field need to be enforced if we want this huge investment to be successful,” Ayala said.

Starting varsity quarterback Daniel Forrest has seen improvements with the new infill.

“On a cooler day I prefer the cork field more, it feels softer and much cleaner than the previous field. Overall I find it a lot better.”

Forrest hasn’t seen many heatwaves coming off the cork field which was a regular occurrence with the rubber.  

“Players and coaches wanted a field that they could use year round. Another thing we heard from people is that they wanted an environmentally friendly field.” Assistant principal Chad Stuart said in response to participants of three community forums held during the 2015-16 school year.

“Cork infill turned out to be the happy median that satisfied everybody.” He said.

An important issue with rubber fields is that you never know where the rubber is going to end up.

“Rubber runs off into the creek and runs off into our gutters, but with cork it’s all natural and isn’t going to hurt the environment.” Stuart said.