Thursday, July 29, 2004

Alexander may help get Boone new turf



By Karen Gutierrez
Enquirer staff writer

FLORENCE - Boone County football legend Shaun Alexander wants to donate money for artificial turf to be installed at the county's three high schools.

But Superintendent Bryan Blavatt said he can't commit any district funds to the effort. With the district gaining about 700 students a year, academic and school-construction needs have to come before sports fields, he said.

That could affect the scope of Alexander's vision.

The turf proposal was presented to the school board recently by Durran Alexander, Shaun's brother and director of the Shaun Alexander Family Foundation. Both graduated from Boone County High School in the 1990s. Durran lives in Florence, and Shaun is a running back with the Seattle Seahawks.

Durran said he was approached by a coach at Boone County High about artificial turf, which allows fields to be used year-round for a multitude of sports. Highlands, Beechwood and Covington Catholic all have used private donations to install the turf.

The Alexanders want the same for Boone County schools. They researched pricing and found that all three high schools - Ryle, Conner and Boone County - could get the turf for a total of about $2 million.

Shaun would be one of the donors. But if contributions fall short, he is likely to focus only on Boone County High, Durran Alexander said.

He will meet with Blavatt on Monday to discuss the project further.

The superintendent said he appreciates the brothers' support and will do what he can to help. But artificial turf can't come from district funds, he said. The district is already rehabilitating five schools and has a new middle school under construction.

E-mail kgutierrez@enquirer.com




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