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Horry County Schools proceeding with full-scale turf project at high schools

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Published: Jul. 16, 2021 at 4:23 PM EDT
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Story courtesy of our news partners, MyHorryNews.

Horry County Schools has been steadily increasing upfront resources for its athletics programs.

But not even coaching pay raises, adding a district-wide athletics director or upping the number of certified athletics trainers compares what may be the next move.

While nothing formal has been approved, the district is moving forward with the necessary steps to install synthetic turf on eight shared-use athletics venues, possibly within the next three years. The entire project could cost more than $9.5 million for the installation at eight high schools. Like it did with its track upgrades, Horry County would utilize a multi-year window, with as many as four of them completed prior to the start of the fall of 2022.

Bids have not been solicited, nor have any contracts been signed. However, the project appears more likely by the week.

“I’m a natural grass guy, but there’s a need in Horry County for synthetic turf fields with the traffic they get,” district athletics liaison Roger Dixon said Friday. “I’m more comfortable now based on the extra money that’s being given to the district in different forms. I haven’t seen the money, but they can redistribute some funds back to the facilities — not just athletics facilities, but facilities in general.”

Newly hired district Athletics Director Jason Cox could not immediately be reached for comment Friday. Dixon, though, said that he was about “80-percent confident” that this current plan would be fulfilled.

Much of that is because during Monday’s HCS facilities meeting, the discussion included tentative dollar figures and installation time frames. The first phase — Socastee, Carolina Forest, Loris and St. James — would cost approximately $5.1 million and be slated for the winter and spring of 2022.

Aynor, Green Sea Floyds and North Myrtle Beach would comprise phase two at a cost of $3.6 million and be conducted in 2023. Conway would round out the group in phase three ($1.2 million) and be completed in 2024.

Along with Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium, shared between the City of Myrtle Beach and Myrtle Beach High School, all nine district schools would then be playing on the synthetic surfaces.

Each individual field would require a minimum of 10 weeks to complete, without consideration to necessary sub-surface upgrades or other needs. Obviously, research on the right product and company — one with the capability of handling multiple schools simultaneously — is all to be determined.

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