Ashford Park Elementary School in Brookhaven will soon be getting a new turf play field, but it won’t be as big as originally thought after bid prices came in more than double the budgeted amount.

The city partnered with the Ashford Park Elementary School Foundation earlier this year to pay for a new turf field at the school that would have included room for a baseball field and soccer field on what is now a worn dirt field with a few pockets of grassy areas. The city promised $300,000 toward the new turf field and the foundation, sponsor of the popular Brookhaven Bolt race fundraiser, raised $150,000 for the new turf field.

The original proposal for Ashford Park Elementary School included new artificial turf for much of the area behind the school. (City of Brookhaven)

The city also entered into an agreement with the DeKalb County Board of Education to allow public use of the new field when not in use during school hours as part of the City Council’s vote in May to put $300,000 toward the new turf field. Councilmember Linley Jones voted against using city tax dollars to pay for the new field because she said it was the school district’s responsibility to pay for school projects.

The city received two bids in September for the project, with one bid coming in at $997,513.74 from Advanced Sports Group LLC and the other at $1.67 million from Tri-Scapes Inc.

Artificial turf will now include only the soccer field area behind the school as shown in the shaded area of the site plan. The area in the center is where a basketball court is located. (City of Brookhaven)

Parks and Recreation Director Brian Borden told the City Council in a Dec. 11 memo that Lose & Associates, designer and engineer for the project, worked with city staff, members of the school foundation and Advanced Sports Group to get the costs down.

Value engineering and some cuts to the original plans were used to get total cost of the project down to $439,633. Cuts include no fencing or asphalt and the artificial turf being limited to the soccer field area, according to city spokesperson Burke Brennan. The rest of the project will be looked at again as funding becomes available, he said.

Dyana Bagby

Dyana Bagby is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta Intown.