Westminster High Schools Field Renovation
Location: Atlanta, GA
Sportsfield Designer: FIELDS
Poor playing conditions and insufficient water draining on the football field at Westminster required total renovation to improve the field's playability and safety.
FIELDS started construction by removing the existing turf from the field. Due to the native soil sub-base's inefficient drainage capacity (which occasionally interfered with the use of the field), FIELDS removed the native soil as well. The turf and soil were both disposed of off site.
During the excavation process, FIELDS installed new drainage at the hash marks to capture water on the field's surface and subsurface. An elaborate, industry-standard drainage system was initially proposed; however, due to budget constraints, a modified system was implemented.
To improve the current soil properties, coarser sand was desired for use in the root zone profile. After conducting several searches within the Atlanta region, the team imported root zone sand from local sources to give the field a 6" sand base. This newly renovated profile would drain water at the same rate throughout the field and serve as the most important aspect of the playing field system.
FIELDS performed laser grading in two separate stages. The first stage established the subgrade and achieved total compaction of 95 percent. During the second, the root zone profile was performed at a consistent depth of 6" and at a 1/2 percent slope.
Prior to the installation of the new turf, FIELDS applied Milorganite fertilizer to the surface of the root zone sand and consistently blended it throughout the profile. The fertilizer would supply an immediate blend of nutrients to the growing roots within the profile and supply the same nutrients throughout the root zone.
For the playing field's new turf, the team selected TifSport Bermudagrass. TifSport is known for its high traffic tolerance, cold hardiness and distinct dark green color. Once the turf was installed, a specific maintenance program was implemented to accelerate growth and obtain optimum results. With only 30 days before the first scheduled event on the field, the highly intensive sports field maintenance program ensured that the turf would be fully established within this timeframe to achieve proper footing and safety for the athletes.
The first event was held four weeks after installation – on a field which was much more aesthetically pleasing than the original surface.