Ripken Youth Academy
Location: Aberdeen, MD
Client: Ripken Youth Academy
Completed: January, 2010
In January 2010, Ripken Youth Academy in Aberdeen, Maryland, was in need of additional playing surfaces, but did not have the area available to construct a totally new playing field. Two baseball fields located on site had completely skinned infield sections and were not playable in adverse weather conditions. The academy selected FIELDS to design and build a synthetic turf system to make the fields more functional and to extend the playing season.
After the decision was made to begin the construction process, Aberdeen was blanketed with 36 inches of snow. Determined to meet the deadline for completion it had established before blizzard conditions hit the area, FIELDS regrouped and embarked on a new plan for dealing with the snow and frozen sub-grade. First, roads to the facility had to be cleared so materials required for the construction could be transported to the site. FIELDS then removed the accumulated snow to begin construction of the new fields.
Excavating the infield mix was the first step, and once this was complete, laser grading and installation of the drainage system and base aggregate followed. Concrete turf anchoring was also required to secure the turf. FIELDS commenced installation of the artificial turf only two weeks after the original snow conditions existed.
Completion of the field base on the first playing area allowed the team to focus on the second field. Again, FIELDS removed snow from the playing surfaces, then followed the same processes as the first field.
In the end, FIELDS had all field sections ready for play and usable by the time the originally scheduled date arrived. Ripken personnel have stated that the new fields have allowed them to add events to their program and enabled more tournament play throughout the season. About 1,500 baseball games are played at the facility each year.