Casa Grande field meeting on Wednesday night

Jim Whitt mows the grass on the football field at Casa Grande High School, in Petaluma on Thursday, May 7, 2015. (Christopher Chung/ The Press Democrat)

Jim Whitt mows the grass on the football field at Casa Grande High School, in Petaluma on Thursday, May 7, 2015. (Christopher Chung/ The Press Democrat)

By LORI A. CARTER
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

At a special board meeting tonight to discuss the Casa Grande athletic field replacement project, Petaluma City Schools board members are expected to hear from parents concerned with what kind of turf young athletes will play on.

They will receive an update from planners on progress made to replace the grass field with an all-weather artificial turf.

Turf fields, some of which are covered with a recycled rubber crumb-like material, have come under increased scrutiny lately with questions about potentially dangerous chemicals in the infill product.

The West Sonoma Union High School District reversed course in March on its long-planned “crumb rubber” infill choice after a small group of parents raised safety concerns. The district, which oversees Analy and El Molino High Schools, approved using a more expensive infill made of cork for the $8 million synthetic field overhaul.

Critics argued that because ground-up, recycled tires potentially contain carcinogens, playing on the surface could pose health risks for young athletes.

In Petaluma, concerned parents are rallying to attend tonight’s meeting to air their similar concerns. The board will receive public input but is not scheduled to take any formal action at the meeting, which begins at 6 p.m. at administration headquarters at 200 Douglas St.

The timeline for completion of installation of the new field is the end of the 2015 football season.

You can reach Lori A. Carter at 521-5470 or lori.carter@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @loriacarter.