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New artificial turf field inside the Donald P. Sutherland Elementary School gymnasium

A new artificial turf field was installed inside the Donald P. Sutherland Elementary School gymnasium in January.

Principal Jack Alvey and Physical Education Teacher Jamie Holtz unveiled a new artificial turf field inside the Donald P. Sutherland Elementary School gym at Wednesday evening’s public Board of Education meeting. The turf was installed in January, transforming it from a traditional hardwood floor into a more versatile surface for Physical Education and after school activities.

During a presentation to the board, Mr. Holtz described how the new turf will be used in Physical Education class including units in flag football, baseball, indoor track, volleyball, project adventure, and games that promote coordination, speed, agility and strength.

Student playing lacrosse in the DPS gym.

A student playing lacrosse during Physical Education class in the DPS gym.

“I walk in here in the morning and feel like I’m at Afrim’s,” Mr. Holtz said at the board meeting. “I love it so much. The kids are enjoying it tremendously.”

The turf is composed of sections of Dollamur mats which have a wrestling mat base underneath the turf.

The sections of turf can be rolled up and removed as needed, for example, during the summer when maintenance employees are cleaning classrooms and need to store desks and chairs in the gym or during community events. The turf is also extremely durable.

The turf cost $35,000 and was paid for by the district ($12,500) and through generous donations from the DPS PTO ($15,000) and the Columbia Youth Lacrosse Club ($7,500).

During the board meeting, Mr. Alvey recognized the groups that helped fund the project as those individuals uncovered logos that had been painted onto the turf.

“This is going to be an incredible resource, not only for our students, but for the community as well,” Mr. Alvey said at the board meeting.

Community organizations have already started to utilize the turf field in the gym for youth soccer and lacrosse.

Most importantly, DPS students have a new and improved space for Physical Education.

Special thanks to DPS Physical Education Teacher Jamie Holtz, DPS Principal Jack Alvey, former PTO president Kelley Engel, the DPS PTO, the East Greenbush Central School District and Columbia Youth Lacrosse Club.