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Mar 26, 2014 08:17 AM EDT

Businessman Donates $1 million to NMSU for Installation of Synthetic Turf


Stan Fulton, a businessman and long-time supporter of New Mexico State University made a gift of $1 million for installation of synthetic turf at the school's football stadium.

The total cost of the project is estimated to be $1.37 million. NMSU student leaders have donated $250,000 in student activity fees to the project, the remaining cost will be compensated with university funds, Miami Herald reports.               

Last week, the NMSU Board of Regents approved to replace the natural grass field at Aggie Memorial Stadium with synthetic turf. However, the project needs a final approval from the New Mexico Higher Education Department and the New Mexico Board of Finance.

If the University receives all the required approvals, it hopes to have the synthetic turf ready for the first home game Aug. 28.

Athletic Director Mckinley Boston said that the installation of synthetic turf will bring lots of benefits to the University. They will be able to host more community events like band competitions without bothering about deterioration of the field and the grass maintenance costs will also go down.

"Our maintenance just hasn't been able to keep up with what I call a quality Division 1 field," Boston said, kvia reports.

The agricultural department is unhappy with the project as the school will lose its 120-year tradition of natural grass.

"I was disappointed to put it mildly, I was almost angry," said Associate Professor Dr. Bernhard Leinauser.

Leinauser also has issues with the numbers. According to him grass is forever, a turf surface lasts for only around 10 years and is costly in the long run. It needs $142,000 per year to maintain a synthetic field compared to $60,000 for grass.

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