(BREVARD, North Carolina) - It’s not often you’ll hear the words rainforest, North Carolina, and synthetic turf mentioned in the same breath, but Brevard High School in North Carolina is about to begin installation of a new synthetic turf field, in part, because of the effects of a rainforest.
Brevard lies on the western edge of North Carolina near Gorges State Park, the only temperate rainforest in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains. The area receives nearly 100 inches of rainfall each year and through the years that rainfall has played havoc with the field at Brevard Memorial Stadium.
“The addition of synthetic turf has been in discussion for over 10 years,” said John Hart, Athletic Director at Brevard High School. “The amount of rainfall and the usage on our field has made this a necessity.”
In addition to the football and soccer teams, the field hosts band practice, middle school sports, youth sports and the football team from Brevard College, which competes in the NCAA Division II South Atlantic Conference.
”I would say the amount of play on our field far exceeds any field in the region and perhaps any in the state,” said Hart.
Community support for the project has been strong and one local family provided a significant donation to the project. The family wanted a blue field. Boise State has a federal trademark on all non-green playing fields and has issued licenses for approximately 30 non-green fields since 2009.
Brevard would have likely received a license, but because Brevard College uses the field, the license was denied. The decision received national publicity. Despite the request being denied, community support actually increased.
School and school system officials looked at several installations, but one thing they heard loud and clear was the quality of work provided by Medallion Athletics from Mooresville. Medallion is a distributor for Shaw Sports Turf of Calhoun, Georgia and the Momentum 41 system was selected for the project.
“We were impressed with Medallion,” said Hart. “We also believe that the Shaw Sports Turf surface is the best surface on the market. Not only will our field provide us with all the performance benefits we expect for our athletes, the field will be a showpiece for our community.”
The manufacturing and installation of the field are very important and involved processes.
“Our base crew will be onsite for about two weeks,” according to Todd Penley of Medallion Athletics. “Our turf crew will then come in to install the field. We do expect the weather in this area to cause some delays, but the entire process should take eight to 10 weeks.”
Some interesting facts about the installation include:
-The field will be manufactured at Shaw Sports Turf’s facilities in Calhoun, Georgia in 15’ wide rolls and will include alternating panel colors.
-Shaw Sports Turf is part of Shaw Industries, the world’s largest carpet manufacturer.
-Momentum is the same type of system used by the Baltimore Ravens.
-The base will include around 2,700 tons of stone.
-The surface will contain approximately 22,000 lbs. of fiber.
-The field will include approximately 197,438 lbs. of SBR rubber and 84,500 lbs. of silica sand.
-Sewing the seams will require 30 large spools of thread.
-Approximately 60 buckets of glue will be utilized in the installation for gluing all hashes, numbers, letters, and logos.
“We are excited that Brevard will be getting a field that will provide performance advantages and give them access to a field that looks and plays the same all the time, regardless of weather,” said Andrew Barksdale, Territory Manager with Shaw Sports Turf.
Work on the project is expected to begin May 1 and be completed in time for football season.
By: Todd Britton