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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Page 23 of 59

Facility&Operations | ByRoger Havlak Photo 1 Photo 2 Photo 3 Photo 4 Photo 5 Top Photo courtesy of Clinton Bailey, Engineer--City of San Angelo. Photo 1: Irrigation problems—could have been avoided. Photo 2: Know and analyze your existing soils. Photo 3: Sample and analyze soils. Photo 4: Verify your grades. Photo 5: Specify weed control throughout construction period. Factors to consider before building a new sports field complex H AVE YOU EVER gazed upon a sports field, either your own or someone else’s, and wondered why there are so many problematic conditions on that site? It could be issues dealing with soils, drainage, compaction, salinity, or any number of other problems. Who is responsible for these issues? How could they have been avoided? Could something have been done differently during its construction that would have made a difference? Ultimately, the design and construction of a sports field/ complex plays a major role in determining the maximum level of over- all performance from your turfgrass for that site. Anyone who has ever been a part of building a new sports complex knows that it can be one of the most satisfying experiences in their career. Walking onto a new sports field where you and your staff played some role in its completion can be a very proud mo- ment. But, as most turfgrass managers know, the path to this proud moment isn’t easy. It takes a tremendous amount of time, hard work, and determination. Throughout the entire process, you will likely work with many fantastic people within the turfgrass industry and some outside of our industry. You will have days where everything goes your way. Then, unfortunately, you will face some days that are not pleasurable. Trials and tribulations with your project can be expected, but you CAN minimize the varying degree of these problems. There are many factors to consider when building a new sports field complex that will assist in maximizing the performance of your site and minimizing the unnecessary problems. As a turfgrass manager, you should create your own list and outline the issues that you feel are important. Here are a few helpful tips: 24 SportsTurf | March 2011 PLANNING AND DESIGN • Choose an architect who knows and un- derstands the complexity of sports field con- struction (i.e. turfgrass management, soils, irrigation, drainage, fencing, buildings, elec- trical, plumbing, etc.). • Always check the references of the archi- tect for performance of past projects. • Work directly with the architect on the design and specifications of the contract. • Make sure the architect understands his or her role before, during, and at the comple- tion of the project. CONTRACT SPECIFICATIONS • Review and make the necessary changes in the contract before going out for bid. • Use resources you know and trust for ad- vice (i.e., turfgrass specialists, soil lab person- nel, other turf managers, books, articles, etc.). • Make sure the owner is well informed and accepts the contents/specifications of the contract. • Add more specifications to cover ALL aspects of the project. Do not assume that the contractor will know and understand the complexities of sports field construction (i.e., over-compaction, drainage, soil types and depths, soil quality, weed management, irri- gation installation procedures, laser grading, fencing, buildings/structures, etc.).

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