SportsTurf March 2011

SportsTurf provides current, practical and technical content on issues relevant to sports turf managers, including facilities managers. Most readers are athletic field managers from the professional level through parks and recreation, universities.

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FieldScience | ByJoel Simmons We brought in a lot of soil and ran soil tests and we were focused on organic matter content and were hoping for at least 2.5-3% which we were able to find, the pH was where we wanted it but the core chemistry needed some help. The soil profile: Lindbergh High School Editor’s note: This is the newest installment of a series that is accompanied by soil test audits of a selected field. Our goal is to evaluate the soil and water tests from a selected sports field and build a fertility program based on the soil profile. We encourage all sports field managers who would like to be interviewed for this piece to contact the magazine. Logan Labs and author Joel Simmons will provide free soil test work and con- sulting to the selected site. W HAT DOES IT TAKE to build a premium high school sports field? It takes a good plan, a lot of soil, and many pieces of heavy equip- ment. There is grass, miles of irrigation piping and drainage lines. Fertilizers, soil amend- ments, time and hard work are in the recipe, but perhaps the most important aspect to building a quality field, one designed for longevity, is the vision and leadership of a large group of people. This is exactly what happened when Lind- bergh High School in St. Louis 12 SportsTurf | March 2011 set out to reconstruct their original football field, one that dated back to the 1940’s. A project to add an Early Childhood Learning Center on campus forced them to under- take the responsibility of con- structing a large stormwater retention basin. The location of the stormwater basin facili- tated the need to rebuild their original football field. As any- one who has worked in a pub- lic school setting knows a project of this size involves many people and too often this means conflicts, confusion and a lot of finger pointing. That didn’t happen here; the school board hired Rich Moffitt of Moffitt and Associates to oversee the project. Moffitt is a former STMA President and has many years experience in the management and construc- tion of sports fields including a long stint as the Director of Grounds at St. Louis University. Moffitt had a lot of ideas as to how he wanted to build this field. “I really wanted the field to be natural grass and when the district discovered the cost of a synthetic field they made the decision to allow to us to go forward with a 90/10 turf type tall fescue and bluegrass field.” Anyone who has grown cool- season grass in St. Louis knows that it is a challenge to keep its alive through the heat of the summer. “The field was going to be used primarily for soccer so I thought the best choice was to go with cool season grasses knowing that the opportunities for easier maintenance and re- covery would be better,” Moffitt said. Moffitt described the process they went through to get the field built and commented on how the school really under- stood that quality was an in- vestment, not a cost. “To get a group this size in a public school system, with all the po- litical ramifications, to create the vision and to complete a project like this was magnifi- cent,” Moffitt said. Construction of the field began in the summer of 2010; the track that circled the field was dug down to 3 inches and rebuilt with a new rubber run- ning surface. “The native soil in

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