In June of 2018, the sports company FieldTurf resurfaced the Hoffman field because the field had outlived its life expectancy. The field was supposed to last approximately eight to 10 years but was on its 12th. As a result, concussions and other injuries would be more likely to happen because of the turf’s condition. “The life of the old turf had expired and it needed to be resurfaced. It had done well, but it had exceeded its lifespan,” Director of Athletics Debbie Fiske said.
Director of Facilities Larry Marciano coordinated all of the construction with FieldTurf and made sure that the company delivered the product on time. Construction started the weekend that spring sports ended, and after five seven day weeks of working from 7 a.m. to 8/9 p.m., they finished. Typically each installation takes 60 days from start to finish (give or take a few depending on the client and weather conditions), but because the turf was resurfaced and not replaced, it did not take as long.
Although construction did not begin until towards the end of the school year, the planning process began in late April to early May. Mr. Marciano said that the process of resurfacing the turf was not frustrating at all and it was very professional because of how hard the company worked. “Everything was delivered and done on time,” he said. “We didn’t have any problems at all because it was so professional. It was a very good experience.”
Mr. Marciano was not the only person who helped organize the project. Trustee and Chair of the Campus Planning Committee Mark Wolman assisted with negotiating the price, final design, price, and schedule for the project. Mr. Wolman had to negotiate with the company that installed the turf to lower their price, and he also had them commit to completing the work when the school needed it. Once all the details were arranged and agreed upon, he brought the proposal to the Board of Directors for the final approval. Mr. Wolman said that his favorite part of the project was seeing everything come together so quickly and satisfyingly. He said he enjoyed working with Ms. Fiske, Mr. Marciano, and the company. “Nothing was frustrating about the process,” he said. Mr. Wolman said it was a pleasure to work on the project from beginning to end. “I wish everyone playing on the new turf field with the new scoreboards enjoyment and fun,” he said.
FieldTurf’s purpose is to produce fields that allow athletes to perform their sports (whether it be field hockey, football, or another) safely, while granting field owners the resilience and durability that they need in order to expand the worth of their purchase. They aim to meticulously duplicate real grass for their clients. FieldTurfTarkett, a branch of the French business Tarkett Incorporation (a global enterprise that specializes in the construction of wall and floor coverings) assembles FieldTurf. The company’s headquarters are located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and its principal manufacturing space is in Calhoun, Georgia. The company only has licensed installers execute their work. When installing the artificial fields, the company uses only the best materials and installation techniques, decreasing maintenance requirements and offering regular performance characteristics.
The fibers that the company produces are created in their facility in Germany. The fibers go through rigorous testing for their uniformity, tensile strength, and color verification before being sent to the factory. The 500,00 square-foot factory is located Calhoun, Georgia factory. This is where they are tufted and coated by the employees that possess over hundreds of years of experience combined in this industry. FieldTurf has created over 4500 turfs for high schools, colleges and municipalities all across North America. Their turfs have also been wanted by several of the highest profile sports teams in the NFL, MLS, and NCAA. Some of the these teams include: New England Patriots (NFL), Seattle Seahawks (NFL), Detroit Lions (NFL), Huskies (NCAA football) Washington State Cougars (NCAA football), Minnesota Golden Gophers (NCAA football), Columbia Lions (NCAA baseball), US Air Force Falcons (NCAA baseball), Cincinnati Bearcats (NCAA baseball).
The company realizes that sports cannot be injury-free, but they some can be prevented, so they always look for new ways to reduce the possibility of injuries, which has lead them to injury-reducing novelties and renovations. According to FieldTurf’s 3-year study, the company’s systems have 13 percent Fewer Muscle Strains / Tears, 11 percent Fewer Concussions, 31 percent Fewer Ligament Tears, 24 percent less High Ankle Sprains, 21 percent Fewer Severe Injuries, 23 percent Fewer Injuries on 4-8+ Year Old Surface in college football (3-year study). The 5-year high school study shows 44 percent Fewer Concussion Injuries Combined, 43 percent Fewer ACL Injuries Combined, 25 percent Less Time Lost to Long-Term Injuries (22+ Days), 16 percent Less Time Lost to Short-Term Injuries (1-2 Days) in high school football (5-year study). Both of these studies were compared to natural grass over several years.
Many of KO’s fall athletes have been adjusting to the new, resurfaced turf and have been enjoying it! “The Varsity Field Hockey team feels really grateful that we are able to play on the new and vibrant turf,” senior captain Mia Seymour said. “As of right now the turf is still a little thick, but with time and as each game goes on we have become accustomed to its length and have played really well on it,” she said. Junior Alyssa Pilecki is happy that the Athletics Department has taken the time to resurface the new turf. “It adds a certain flare to the school that promotes our wonderful teams and serious pride in sports,” she said.