The multi-field project through general contractor Hodges and Hicks involved first renovating the natural grass stadium field in 2019 and then the natural grass softball field, natural grass lacrosse field and synthetic practice field in 2020.
Phase One: Stadium Field
Sports Turf installed TifTuf Bermuda, which is the latest “Tif” release from the University of Georgia turfgrass breeding program. After two decades of rigorous testing, this drought-resistant turfgrass proved to be 38 percent less water than other varieties. TifTuf’s growth allows for faster establishment and quicker recovery compared to other Bermuda grasses making it the leading sports field product. It has an attractive bright green color that holds its color late into the fall and comes out of dormancy earlier than other turfgrasses.
Along with the TifTuf installation, Sports Turf designed a full underdrain system, sand-based rootzone and irrigation system. The TifTuf Bermudagrass was installed to increase the durability of the multipurpose facility and to help move water away at a faster rate through the underdrain and rootzone systems. This elite natural grass field can receive a large amount of rain and traffic while remaining playable all season.
Wesleyan’s detention pond collects all of the runoff which is used to supply the entire campus’ irrigation system. There are no runoff issues because all of the rainwater is captured and reused. Whatever is not actively used by the field, goes back into the detention pond. The TifTuf solution combined with the school’s rainwater collection system captures the impurities that would normally runoff to streams or nearby rivers. Overall, natural grass fields are environmentally friendly as they enhance groundwater recharge, provide erosion control and reduce playing field surface temperatures. There is not any recycling needed throughout the entire field installation process since the surface is natural.
Phase Two: Softball Field, Lacrosse Field and Practice Field
Phase two involved first constructing a high-level natural grass softball field. Sports Turf installed a complete under-drain system in the outfield, an eight-inch USGA sand rootzone over lateral drain lines, and irrigation. The drought-resistant turfgrass, TifTuf Bermuda was installed to withstand high traffic and hold color late into the fall during softball season.
Along with the softball field, a high-performing natural grass lacrosse field was built to mirror the stadium field installed last year by Sports Turf. The field features an eight-inch USGA sand rootzone over a gravel blanket with lateral drain lines on 20-foot centers. TifTuf Bermuda was installed over the high-performing drainage layer, along with irrigation.
As a multipurpose practice field, the surface needed to stand up to high traffic year-round. AstroTurf’s Rhino synthetic turf system was installed for maximum performance and durability on Wesleyan’s practice field. The synthetic surface will allow the school’s athletes to practice in unfavorable weather conditions without detriment to the surface. The field will primarily serve as a practice field for the lacrosse and football teams.