A different consultant, recommended by the parents, had submitted a proposal for more study that would cost a little more than $43,000, including looking at substances the first study did not examine, testing the air on the fields to see if inhaling it is harmful, and testing on hot days.
The district's share of the cost of the original study was $6,900. The cost was split with the city of Menlo Park.
Board members said they want to hold off on additional testing until they hear about how a statewide study of artificial turf fields is going. A meeting of scientists who are advising the state on the turf study is scheduled for May.
The results of the statewide study, which included tests on the Hillview field, are expected to be available in 2019. Superintendent Erik Burmeister said that after the May advisory panel meeting, the district may know if the preliminary results of the study are of concern, or if the study's results are expected to be delayed.
Board members said they also want to check in with the city of Menlo Park to confirm its willingness to help pay for a new study.
"I haven't heard enough to lead me to believe that we should spend either $44,000, or $22,000, to do this study," said board member Joan Lambert. The expert originally hired said the risks are extremely small, Ms. Lambert said, and an extensive state study is underway. "I just question what we would get" from another study, she said.
Board member David Ackerman was even more blunt. Consultants had told the board in November that the further studies would "basically be a waste of money," he said, but the board decided to get the bid "to see how much money we would waste to make everybody feel better," he said.
Parent Corey Binns disagreed. "I don't think it's a matter of me feeling happier; I think it's a matter of our kids being safe," she said.
Ms. Binns was the only member of the public who spoke about the fields at the March 13 meeting.
"I really appreciate that you aren't letting this go," she told the board. The new proposal shows the previous study "did fall a little short," she said. "It didn't look at inhalation and it didn't look at dermal issues."
She urged the board to consider more than just cost when evaluating whether to ask for additional study.
At the November meeting, a consultant told the board it would cost between $250,000 and $375,000 to replace the ground-up tires, known as crumb rubber, with another substance on the Hillview field. Completely replacing the field would cost $750,000 to $850,000. The field is expected to last between four to eight years before it would need replacing.
The school district also checked with other schools to see what they have done with their playing fields.
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