photo by Taylor Montalto.
By Steve Sears
Livingston High School’s Al Jacobson Field has a brand-new turf.
The Livingston Board of Education made the decision to replace the older turf. Through a budget process it was discussed and recommended by Steve Robinson, business administrator.
“We haven’t had grass on that field in at least 25 years,” says Robinson. “We have multiple turfs. This is our third turf on that field.”
The field was purchased through FieldTurf, and purchase price was $456, 687.
The ribbon cutting was held on the evening of the home opening football game on September 7 prior to the 7 p.m. kickoff of the Lancers’ home opener against Bayonne.
Rich Porfido, who took over as athletic director, sees the pride all have taken in the new turf.
“I was just really happy to have a new surface,” says Porfido. “I know everybody’s excited about having it. This is absolute pride.
“No question, the first day they were able to practice or have a scrimmage or have a game, I think it really just shows what the community is about; that they’re willing to invest obviously in our academics here, but also athletics in terms of what we’re trying to provide for the young men and young women here, and also our band uses it, too,” he continues.
“It’s our stadium, and it’s used for soccer, field hockey, football, lacrosse, and our track team runs here, too,” he explains.
“We use it for a lot of our students in this building and so I think everybody takes a great sense of pride in the usage of it and what the Board of Education has been able to provide to us with it, and the Town Council.”
Eyes outside of Livingston are as well impressed.
“All the other teams that have come here from other towns have told us how beautiful it looks, and how well designed it is,” says Interim Superintendent of Schools Jim O’Neill. “Typically those turfs last 8 to 12 years.”
Adds Robinson, “In my opinion it’s a spectacular looking field. The players seem to like it.” He also refers to one significant improvement. “It’s been upgraded to a Cool Play,” he says. “There is a sand rubber mix that these turfs are made of, and there’s some kind of mineral that they put in, a granular mineral, that you put on top of the field that makes it cooler. Typically, fields get hot, hotter than the actual temperature outside, so if a field gets to be 120 degrees, this mineral cool play makes it 30 degrees cooler than it would normally be.”
O’Neill says, “Field Turf has been the quality provider of field turfs for a long time. And the impressive thing about that is the quality of the product has actually grown. The Cool Play that Steve mentions is the single, most impressive improvement that they’ve made.”
Porfido comments on the athletic history at Livingston High School. “Not only is there a lot of history that has gone on, I think it’s a school that really keeps it alive, and not a lot of schools are really able to do that,” he says. “So, it’s been really great starting here and understanding the history in such a quick way.”