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No turf battle here

Those who lament the ponderous pace of public officials should check the heart rates over at the Forest Grove School District office. There, a group of administrators, aided by a team of energetic volunteers, are pushing for an artificial turf at the high school with the intensity of the New England Patriots' offensive line.

Last week they ran into what they viewed as defensive holding over at City Hall.

Team Turf was hoping to raise $900,000 by sping so a new all-weather field could be ready in time for fall football and soccer. When they turned to Forest Grove city officials for some cash earlier this month, they were told to slow down.

While we've been cheering the school district on, we, too, are calling for a brief time out. Not because the turf-boosters are moving too fast, but because the rest of the city needs to catch up.

If we're not careful, the proposed turf at the high school will be viewed as another example of athletics trumping academics. That's not the case, but not everyone understands that.

There's also a danger in residents screaming about city funds being used for schools, which have their own dedicated tax levy.

Truth is, a turf field at the high school would help all the area's recreation programs, which desperately need more space and already rely heavily on free use of school property. And paired with the new turf field at Lincoln Park, a synthetic field at the high school could lure regional tournaments to town.

Viewed that way, using city money to help fund the project could pencil out. But before we get to that discussion, district officials need to share their playbook and harness some of their enthusiasm to win over a few more members of the public to their team.