March 2017

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 27 of 51

FACILITY & OPERATIONS 28 SportsTurf | March 2017 Since that moment, AstroTurf has installed over 4 million square feet nationally. THE FIELD Gilmer High School's football stadium was a project awarded to Sports Turf Company, Inc. through a competitive proposal process. Construction began in February 2015 working through North Georgia's unpredictable winter weather. Sports Turf Company began by excavating down to subgrade to remove all materials from the previous natural grass field and laser grading. A 6-inch porous stone base was installed accompanied by a full underdrain system to allow a minimum of 60 inches an hour to drain successfully from the new synthetic turf field. Exterior field drainage was installed inside the track to ensure water wouldn't travel back across the track surface. The Brock SP15 pad was installed over the stone base followed by the Golden Series DT32 system; in another industry first, Gilmer's end zone lettering and football numbers were prefabbed in a climate controlled warehouse facility before the carpet even arrived for installation. A typical field has 398 inlays plus logos and end zone lettering. By cutting these with a robotic water jet, every one is guaranteed to be the most crisp. Gilmer's prefabbed field meant the most precise installation, no rain complications and the field was ready on time for graduation. The last step of field construction, 1.5 pounds of sand per square foot was incorporated into the synthetic turf system as a ballast before the ZeoFill was groomed into place. Sports Turf Company's certified track builders evaluated Gilmer High School's stadium and found widening the field to allow for a regulation soccer field would not eliminate a G ilmer County High School became the first school in the Southeast to play on the AstroTurf Golden Series synthetic turf system. After much deliberation over what synthetic turf product would best suit their needs, the Bobcats, nestled in the North Georgia Mountains, chose a high-density, short length fiber pad and ZeoFill infill turf system, commonly referred to as DT32, Gilmer County embarked on their journey to revolutionize their field before graduation. With California leading the way in new synthetic turf technology. AstroTurf invested in a new alternative infill design for Los Angeles Recreation and Parks that has now been installed across the nation at high schools, municipalities and Division I fields. Driving the product was a desire to create consistency in safety utilizing a pad, a "no fly-out" infill system, and high durability with lots of fiber that had already been proven in the field over decades with lowering field temperatures. Simply stated by Jimmy Newsome of LA Recreation and Parks, "We had a table full of turf samples. After reviewing the products one by one and eliminating the ones that did not fit our needs, we had an empty table." This drove the city to develop its own product alongside AstroTurf. FIELD BUILDER STRIVES FOR SAFETY Editor's note: This article was provided by Sports Turf Company, Inc., Whitesburg, GA. "We absolutely love the new field and track! – Principal Carla Foley

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