Photos and article by Robert Frank, WSU Today
PULLMAN – The remodeling of the Grimes Way Playfield is nearing completion, with the turf segment estimated to be done by Friday, Sept. 24, according to Jeff Kisner, the Washington superintendent for Field Turf corporation.
Work done over the past couple months has included removal of the old natural turf, addition of fencing, installation of a drainage system, addition of sand and leveling the field to within a fraction of an inch.
During the past two weeks, employees of the Field Turf company laid down a layer of interlocking panels that will improve drainage and increase the field’s flexibility or cushion.
Next, strips of 2-inch thick synthetic turf were brought in, rolled out, stretched and sewn together. After that, 110 tons of cryogenic rubber and 75 tons of silica sand were distributed over the turf, then leveled (at 1.24 inches deep) by hand raking and mechanical sweeping.
Cryogenic rubber is made from recycled rubber car tires that are frozen and shattered into smooth granules.
Advantages to the artificial turf are said to include:
- Looks and feels like natural grass year round
- Better durability and drainage than natural grass
- No need for pesticides, fertilizers, herbicides and fungicides
- No watering
- Low maintenance and upkeep
- Reduces carbon emissions from mowing, weed-eating and edging
Kisner said the Field Turf surface is guaranteed for eight years and generally lasts about 8-10 years before needing replacement.
This year several fields are being remodeled and converted to artificial turf at WSU, including Rogers Field, Grimes Way Playfield and the Valley Road Playfield. The Grimes Way and Valley Road projects were approved by students and are being paid for through student fees.
The playfields are used for student intermural and club sports, band practice and other activities.
Still under construction at Grimes Way Playfield is the installation of new lighting and an irrigation system for the natural grass strips on the perimeter.
The Grimes Way Playfield is scheduled to be completed in October and the Valley Road Playfield in January.
Field Turf also is installed on the Martin Stadium field.