LAS VEGAS, NV (KTNV) — Not long after 13 Investigates exposed shoddy playing fields at some local high schools, Clark County School District trustees could be drawing up a new game plan to make the fields safer.
Sports fans love a good underdog story. This one starts at Rancho High School, where one assistant principal's concerns about concussions helped 13 Investigates unearth a widespread problem.
"My concussions had gone up 300%. I think we had like 15 concussions last Fall," says Gabrielle Crawford, assistant principal and athletic director at Rancho.
"All this stuff just started unfolding like a puzzle that's been waiting to be played," says Crawford about the condition of the artificial turf football field at the school. "And I don't think it's right it took this long."
She has been crying foul over field conditions to the district but says her concerns fell on deaf ears.
Taking matters into her own hands to protect players, Rancho paid to have the field G-Max tested. The results caused Crawford to shut the field down before the season even started.
A G-Max test measures the impact when an object hits the surface. The higher the G-Max number, the more serious an injury could be.
Anything over 200 G's is considered unsafe.
"Six of our points were 250, 240," Crawford says.
READ MORE: 13 Investigates stories
The results finally prompted the district to check the four other artificial fields at Clark, Valley, Arbor View and Indian Springs high schools.
Clark and Valley's fields were subsequently closed.
Arbor View and Indian Springs were considered safe enough until next year. But replacing those fields is now in play.
Trustees will consider paying $68,000 to a landscape architectural firm for design plans at Arbor View, and nearly $71,000 for design plans at Indian Springs.
G-Max testing for student safety, maintenance to protect the taxpayer's investment, and using the fields for years beyond their warranties are issues that 13 Investigates has asked the district repeatedly about. More than a month later, we're still waiting for answers.
The only information the district provided about testing was for one G-Max test of the field at Indian Springs back in 2008 when it was first installed. It appears no other testing was done there, or at any of the schools, until this year.
We again asked the district about maintenance records on Thursday and we will report that information if we ever get it.