Westminster - Flood Restoration
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Sportsfield Designer: FIELDS
The original renovation of the Westminster football stadium took place in 2008 during the spring and summer months in Atlanta, Georgia. The field was used successfully for one season.
In early fall of 2009, the Southeastern states were deluged with an incredible amount of rain, and the newly renovated field was flooded three times in two months, with the second flooding being the most severe. Nearby Nancy Creek reached record flood stage and 8 feet of water covered the field for four to five days.
After the flood waters receded, FIELDS was called in to make recommendations on getting the field back to playing condition. The main problems were the amount of silt left on the field and the aftereffects of sanitary sewer overflow, a well-known problem that the city of Atlanta has struggled with for years.
Due to health concerns and for player safety, it was decided that the field should be ground down to the Bermuda grass stolons to remove the silt, yet give the grass roots a chance to regrow some lush top growth.
The turf was removed utilizing a machine known as the "Combinator." In general when turf needs to be repaired or replaced, it can be removed to a specific depth by grinding the material and then either relocating it on the site for redistribution for growth or composted. The Combinator has the capability to remove turf to a depth of 2" if so desired to remove the entire plant tissue, thatch layer and native soil layering.
Once the Bermuda grass started to shoot new growth, and after it had been mowed three times, the grounds crew topdressed the field with sand to alleviate any footing issues and remove any imperfections from the renovation. The field was over-seeded with winter rye grass and was ready in time for soccer and lacrosse play.