After botched installation, school district pays $94K for upgrade to Crimson Cliffs turf field

ST. GEORGE — The story of Crimson Cliffs High School’s turf field has been a complicated one. From the soccer lines being forgotten to bubbles in the turf to rocks in the infill, there have been a number of issues that have set the project back.

Most recently, the Washington County School District has removed First Form from the project, one of the original subcontractors in charge of the field’s construction. In their place, the district has approved a bid by FieldTurf to install entirely new turf. The district is paying an additional $94,000 for upgraded turf, which will lower temperatures on the field.

First Form originally won the bid on the field priced at $864,892 in July 2017, according to a press release issued by the company.

The original turf was supplied to First Form by Act Global, a company that has done installations at MetLife Stadium, home of the New York Giants and Jets; and the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, home of the New Orleans Saints; among others. However, in the case of Crimson Cliffs, Act Global CEO John Baize told St. George News his company was only the supplier and was not involved in the installation of the turf.

Baize said the original turf was high quality and that it was installed incorrectly by First Form. Bubbles and wrinkles left in the turf were the main problem, and to fix it, First Form tried to weigh it down with an infill that included rocks, instead of the originally promised coconut infill. They thought the added weight would push the bubbles out of the turf and fix the problem, Baize said, adding that it did not work.

Crimson Cliffs turf field before work to remove the turf began, Washington, Utah. Oct. 9, 2019 | Photo by Ryne Williams, St. George News / Cedar City News

After complications with First Form, the school district dismissed the company, leaving the job up for bid for a new subcontractor. The district will not incur the new costs required to redo the field and is only paying for the $94,000 in upgrades to turf quality, school district Communications Director Steve Dunham said, noting that the costs associated with the new construction will be the responsibility of the contractor overseeing the original project.

Before a bid to redo the field was accepted, Baize said Act Global attempted to come to the school district with a proposal to remove the infill, fix the bubbles and wrinkles in the turf and put in new infill correctly for a significantly lower cost than completely replacing the field. Baize said such a project could have been done in three weeks.

The contract was instead given to FieldTurf to completely redo the project with new turf.

Dunham said that the district takes into account the qualifications on the bid and wanted to make sure that there would be no damage to the existing work.

Crimson Cliffs turf field being taken out by workers, Washington, Utah. Oct. 15, 2019 | Photo by Ryne Williams, St. George News / Cedar City News

“We are excited to be working with a company that has proven they can complete a quality product for our students,” Dunham said of FieldTurf. “We know it will be done as quickly as possible and provide for the safety of our student athletes.”

According to Baize, Act Global is still owed $70,185 from the original project and is looking at possibly pursuing legal action with the district over the current removal of the turf from the field.

Dunham said that the district has paid that money to First Form. Any legal recourse on Act Global’s part will need to be directed at First Form, as opposed to the school district.

Dunham could not specify a possible finish date for the field, but said FieldTurf is making strides, having completed the removal of the original turf Wednesday.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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