Improving Athletic Field Safety & Expanding Facility Capabilities
The Nevada Community School District expressed a desire to upgrade its existing football facility and provide a full size, competitive soccer field for their soccer program. The existing football field posed a number of safety risks that made it unfit for athletes to play soccer on, requiring games to be held at other facilities. Areas of particular concern were:
- The field was set low and had “bird baths” or undulation across the field. To fix this, the field was raised approximately two feet to make it more level with the surrounding track.
- Corners of the field presented a drastic change in elevation in comparison to the surrounding track. This presented a safety issue that was mitigated by raising the field.
- The long jump adjacent to the straightaway caused the turf area to be more narrow than preferred, which prevented the field from being used for competitive soccer.
Several options to raise the field elevation and provide a more uniform slope were discussed and reviewed to ensure the final design would result in increased performance, playability, and usage. Critical design components of innovative, high-quality athletic fields were taken into consideration during design including the sub-drain system, irrigation system, imported soil, and turf.
Field Components & Stadium Amenities
New drainage and irrigation systems were proposed to improve field conditions during events. Designed for internal gravity drainage, a system of collector drains that run alongside the inside track edge surrounding the field and lateral drains were installed across the playing surface at a 45-degree angle to surface runoff. As a result, when the soil becomes saturated, water will flow into perforated lateral lines and down into the collector drain. Equally important to the design of the field is an irrigation system designed for safety, dependability, efficiency, and ease of maintenance. To meet the outlined criteria, a newly designed Hunter irrigation system was selected.
Soil testing for nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium determined that soil amendments would be needed. As a result, a significant amount of soil was imported to crown the field and improve soil conditions so that healthy turf could be established. A Kentucky bluegrass blend was used for the initial establishment of the turf with the addition of perennial ryegrass in heavy use areas to withstand traffic and improve turf performance. A long-term maintenance plan was also developed as part of the project to guide the aeration, seeding, fertilization, and mow schedule.
Other stadium improvements included a new concession building, restrooms, press box, spirit store, plaza area, storage area, and fencing. In addition, an underground stormwater detention system was utilized to meet regulations, while providing a green space for athletic booster tailgating and ticket entrance.
Snyder & Associates provided survey, design, construction documents, and construction administration services for the project.