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Work has started at Dacula High School’s stadium field to transition the playing surface from natural grass to artificial turf.

Five more Gwinnett County Public Schools’ stadiums will get artificial playing surfaces in the coming months.

Central Gwinnett, Collins Hill, Dacula, Meadowcreek and Mill Creek are the latest high schools transitioning from natural grass to artificial turf in a project funded by a November 2018 referendum, which passed by roughly 78 percent of Gwinnett voters. The vote approved the use of General Obligation Bonds up to $350 million to be used for improvements for the district.

Sports Turf will lay the artificial turf at Dacula and Mill Creek, while Field Turf will handle Central, Collins Hill and Meadowcreek.

“Both companies do outstanding work and have a great product,” GCPS director of athletics Ed Shaddix said. “We are all very excited and thankful.”

Duluth and South Gwinnett were the first GCPS high schools to get artificial turf through the bonds. Those projects were completed last summer in time for the 2019-20 school year.

GCPS plans to transition 12 other high school stadiums to artificial turf in future years, in addition to installing the surface at a 13th school, the new Seckinger High School slated to open in 2022.

"The voters of Gwinnett County approved a General Obligation bond referendum on November 6, 2018," Shaddix said. "The authorization of these funds have supported capital improvement projects like synthetic turf. Each of our high schools that participate in GHSA sports will receive synthetic turf in the stadium. The majority of the work will take place in the summer when there is adequate time to complete such a significant task with minimal interference to normal school operations.

"Our Division of Facilities and Operations evaluates the needs of schools and projects to be completed annually. This evaluation informs how we proceed with the next round of projects."

Gwinnett private schools Greater Atlanta Christian, Hebron Christian and Providence Christian already have artificial turf on their stadium fields. Wesleyan has natural grass.

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