postpone Completion of Astroturf field
ERIC CHAMBERS, STAFF WRITER
Due to complications, the completion of a brand-new
Astroturf playing field at Farley Field House has been postponed until
the spring. The construction of the turf, which had proceeded normally
since its beginning in the fall, hit a snag during the final stages, when
the top layer of turf would not stick to the adhesive sublayers below.
According to Jeffrey Ward, the Ashmead White Director
of Athletics, "the initial planning and permitting took longer than we
had anticipated, so the project didn't get started until the fall." However,
when the town of Brunswick granted the school the needed permits, construction
began on the new turf in the beginning of October.
The problems with the turf were noticed in December,
with the placement of the top and final layer of turf. Instead of laying
flat as it normally should, the turf rippled and bubbled at various places
along the surface. The turf was removed, but because of the incoming cold
weather, the continuation of the job was postponed.
John Cullen, an assistant director of athletics, said
he believes that there could have been two possible causes of the problems
in the final stage of the turf construction. Either the cold weather did
not allow the turf to properly adhere to the sublayer, or problems with
the sublayer itself did not allow the turf to stick to it. Squares of
the turf were removed and sent for analysis to determine the exact cause
of the problems.
"We were all chomping at the bit, waiting for the turf
to be completed," he said. "However, because of all the sports starting
in the spring, we have to fit everything into our scheduled times. It's
jam-packed." In order to prevent conflicts among sports practices, field
reservations and schedules must be carefully planned. In some cases, this
leads to some sports practicing late at night, when slots are available.
The entire athletic department anticipated the completion
of the turf before winter break. "If the field were completed today,"
said Cullen, "we would have had that field plowed and playable, even in
thirty-degree weather." The turf had been planned to be used as a practice
field for some sports, such as lacrosse, and as a competition site for
others such as field hockey.
Although the project has not been proceeding as planned,
Ward is still enthusiastic about the completion. "While the spring teams
would all like to be using the turf field this winter, they are essentially
in the same situation they were in last year. The field house never had
turf in it, but it is one of the best around."