Worthington Kilbourne High School's football team should be able to play home games on a synthetic turf next season.

Worthington Kilbourne High School's football team should be able to play home games on a synthetic turf next season.

The Worthington Board of Education approved an architectural bid for a new synthetic turf at Kilbourne on March 9, but the vote wasn't unanimous.

Board vice president Marc Schare, who cast the lone dissenting vote, said he could not support the project, despite a $242,000 donation from a parent group.

"I have nothing against installing new turf, but I cannot in good conscience support taxpayer subsidy of this project," Schare said. "I'm not entirely opposed to spending this money, but I think the board should do some long-term planning and decide when it will run the next levy and how much it will be."

The total bid was for $745,000 from Cincinnati-based Motz Group to install the synthetic turf at Kilbourne this summer.

"We will be having a project meeting in the near future to discuss actual dates, but the current plan is to break ground when school is out and to have the project complete before the start of the next school year," said Jeff McCuen, district treasurer.

McCuen said the turf would be funded from a combination of contributions -- from the $242,000 donation by parent booster group Wolves Inc. and other community donations -- with the rest by interest earned on proceeds from the 2012 bond issue.

"We have the interest money because we borrowed the money before we needed it, when rates were good," Schare said. "It was a good time to borrow, but maybe that money would be better used to help make the levy last as long as possible."

Schare said it might be an "equity" issue.

Thomas Worthington's synthetic turf was installed in 2011. The school board in May 2011 approved $102,000 for the project, with other funding coming via community donations.

"Thomas has a new turf, so should Kilbourne?" he said. "Are we setting a precedent that if one building has something, the other buildings must have it also? We say we don't want cookie-cutter schools, so I would say this merits discussion."

Kilbourne athletics director Jeff Todd and parent Todd Cameron of Wolves Inc. both spoke at the meeting, saying they were excited for the students.

"We have been a couple of years working on this project, and besides the $242,000 donated, we pledge to continue to make payments toward the turf," Cameron said. "We have $25,000 more in pledges, and as we typically make about $15,000 to $20,000 per year at athletic events, then we could donate more toward the turf."

He said Wolves Inc. also plans to implement a brick program, through which people could buy bricks that could be placed in a certain area around the turf to commemorate loved ones.

Todd told ThisWeek synthetic turfs are guaranteed for eight years but typically last 10 years in good shape.

"This is a solid community investment," board president Julie Keegan said. "We appreciate the portion raised, and we are at the time when we have to make a decision on this project. I don't think the community looks at our facilities as a luxury. This turf is important to a large number of families and will be tax dollars well-spent, in my opinion."

Board member Sam Shim said Thomas Worthington had a much larger alumni base when its supporters raised money for a synthetic turf, so they could support more of the cost.

"We should appreciate the hard work that both schools did but show them that we are here to help, too," he said.

Board member Jennifer Best said the project also is a safety issue.

"I appreciate all the community fundraising on this, and I believe it could also be a safety issue for the school," she said. "The new turf will be safer for all the students to use.