The Edmonds School District Board approved tire crumb rubber turf fields as part of the planned athletic complex project at the former Woodway High School in Edmonds.
The vote, during Tuesday’s Board of Directors meeting, was 4-1 in favor of crumb rubber with Board Member April Nowak the lone dissenter. Board President Diana White and Board Members Gary Noble, Kory DeMun and Ann McMurray voted in favor of the crumb rubber fields.
Many students, parents and community members urged the Board to delay the vote, consider alternatives to the crumb rubber infill and retain the grass fields at the site. Some of those who spoke to the Board during the public comment period were part of a group of about 50 people protesting against the crumb rubber fields. The group lined both sides of the entrance to the District’s Educational Service Center, where Tuesday’s Board meeting was held.
A resolution to use Nike grind, ground-up sneakers from the company’s shoe recycling program, failed 4-1 with Nowak the only Board Member in favor. A third alternative in which the crumb rubber was encapsulated did not draw any support from the Board.
Earlier in the meeting, Nowak proposed that the Board wait six months to make a decision on the artificial turf fields. Nowak wanted to use the time to further study, not only the safety issues associated with crumb rubber, but also to address traffic concerns and community engagement on the project. Nowak said that new information is coming out crumb rubber and that installing the new fields was not an issue that the Board needed to rush. Nowak’s motion did not pass with DeMun the only other Board Member to support it and White, Noble and McMurray opposed to the delay.
We’ll have more details in our full story on Wednesday.
— By David Pan