Tyler Consolidated Outdoor Sports Renovation
When the Tyler Consolidated Silver Knights return to the football field for the 2020 season, they will run onto their new a rtificial turf field. No longer will football games be played on the natural grass field as they have since the school was first built.
The project to renovate the field began several weeks ago and is now to the stage where the football field has taking on the appearance of what the fans will see at the Knights first home game. From start to finish the football field portion of the project will take approximately four weeks to be completed by The Vasco Group out of Massillon, Ohio. The group of technicians assembling the field estimate they construct as many as 20 athletic fields a year.
When finished, it will appear to be a natural grass field complete with lines, yard markers and the Knights name and logo. Below the new turf surface, a complex drainage system has been designed to carry water away from the playing surface. Covering the drain system is a mixture of different sized crushed stones. By having various sized stones in the base mixture, it allowed the stone blend to be compacted creating a solid base for the artificial turf to lie on. In the final step, the new turf and pad have been laid down over the stone base and drainage system.
The artificial turf has been delivered in rolls 15 feet wide. Each strip of turf is attached to the next by technicians who use a hand sewn process. The yard lines and side boarders are made into the turf during the manufacturing process. Installing the team name and logos requires a technician to place a letter in its proper position covering the underlying turf. Each letter is then measured and marked with a string line so they are each set into their correctly aligned position. The letters themselves are held in place by long spike nails during this process. Next, the technician will begin precisely cutting the turf below each letter. Once it is cut, the lower turf is removed and the letter will be fitted into the recently cut opening. After the letter has been placed, it is secured with special backing tape and hot glue. The securing nails are then removed.
Once the entire field project has been completed, the final step is to install what is known as, “infill material” into the turf. The artificial blades of grass are 2 inches in length. The purpose of the infill is to keep the grass standing upright. Infill material is often a combination of sand and rubber or sometimes plastic pellets. The ratio of sand to rubber can vary, depending on the particular sports field it is used on. Over time the turf infill material will become compacted and not support the grass correctly. If this happens, a process known as de-compacting may be necessary to restore the infill material to its proper condition. A playing field that becomes compacted and not properly maintained can create a harder playing surface. This hardness is referred to as G-max. This is a measurement of the shock-attenuation of the field turf. In plain terms, if a player gets tackled on a properly maintained field, it can help to soften his impact with the turf. If the infill material has become compacted over time, that same player may remember his hard landing the next day.
When completed, the Knights new football field will provide an outstanding playing surface for many years to come. It is estimated that with proper maintenance the field could last as long as 15 years before it may need to be replaced.
The new outdoor sports area will have new bleachers and a double press box. Surrounding the football field a new track has been laid down with increased running lanes as part of the overall renovation project. Along with the football field, the Knights baseball and softball fields will also have new artificial turf playing surfaces for next spring’s season opener.
Once the renovation projects are complete, Tyler Consolidated High School will have one of the finest outdoor sporting complexes in the area. Good luck to the Tyler Consolidated Knights on their upcoming 2020 season.