The Turf Field has become a reality in large part because of the generosity of a group of donors who contributed more than $1 million to the cause. We are grateful for the enthusiasm they have brought to this project and we are excited to see it through to completion during the 2015-2016 school year. The synthetic turf surface will be laid over an eco-friendly Envirofill infill of acrylic-coated sand. No rubber pellet material will be used in this field. Fuller details about the field itself may be found in the Frequently Asked Questions section below. In August 2015, construction began to remake the grass Wolf Field located in the rear center of the campus complex into a synthetic turf field that can accommodate students in all divisions during physical education classes, and will serve as the home competition field for our field hockey and lacrosse teams, and as a practice field for the school's soccer program. See live stream at right.
At Hathaway Brown, we always have been committed to educating the whole child: mind, body, and spirit. There are well-documented psychological, social, academic, and physical benefits that come from playing sports. One hundred percent of our students participate in our outstanding physical education program, and every year, more and more girls join our sports teams. In fact, a full 70 percent of Upper School students are HB student-athletes. Beyond our campus, HB has earned a reputation for having both outstanding academics and top-tier athletics programs.
Because it will give us a state-of-the-art outdoor classroom and competition space while eliminating the need for HB to rent other facilities due to weather impacts on our current grass field, installation of a Turf Field on campus allows us to address at least three of the strategies outlined in the school's new Strategic Plan:
- Strategy #4: Optimize Our Campus for 21st-Century Learning
- Strategy #5: Promote Lives of Balance and Well-Being
- Strategy #6: Secure Sustainable Financial Strength
On their teams and in the classroom, we always encourage our students to maximize their potential. It is important that we as an institution provide them with the tools to do just that. But the reality is that when it comes to outdoor field sports, our Northeast Ohio climate can make that difficult. The snowy season is long, and the ground tends to become saturated and uneven, rendering our grass field all-too-often unplayable. Turf fields may be used even in the winter after snow has been brushed off, without any detriment to the surface. The increased usage time for this surface material will allow us to stay at HB more often for practices and games, rather than having to rent out other area facilities for those purposes. Additionally, our younger students will be able to play outside on a cleaner, drier surface during their physical education class times much more often, regardless of the season.
This new field will be 70'x120' to accommodate field hockey, lacrosse, soccer, and recreational sports play. The turf itself will be 1 5/8" tall, 46 oz. Crossflex HB slit fil/monofilament blend synthetic turf with thatch, with 6 lbs. per square foot of eco-friendly Envirofill infill (this acrylic coated sand substance is also used as the infill for the turf field at Cleveland Heights High School). All of this material will be installed over a Brock Pad with drainage capability. No rubber infill will be used whatsoever.
After considerable discussion and consideration, HB's Turf Field Task Force chose The Motz Group to take the lead on this project. Based in Cincinnati, The Motz Group recently completed construction on a new turf field at Cleveland Heights High School. We have been in contact with officials at CHHS, who tell us they have been pleased with the work of The Motz Group, and that their new field has met expectations.
Behnke and Associates engineers have been subcontracted by The Motz Group to help design the infrastructure upon which HB's Turf Field will be laid. This firm recently completed similar work for the new field at Shaker Heights High School.
Construction on HB's new Turf Field is expected to commence in early August. The first phase of the construction will include mobilization, staging, demolition, and excavation. Punch-list, clean-up, and close-out should be completed by mid-October. With all the uncertainties that surround a project of this nature, this timeline is subject to change. As construction continues, we will keep the school community updated about the progress through messages and photographs. We also will make available a live stream of the project, so that people may observe the construction on their computer screens in real time.
While the Turf Field is being built, the HB Athletics Department will relocate practices and games for fall sports to other area locations.