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Developing Multipurpose Community Athletic Facilities

To better serve the athletic facility needs of the Indianola School District and the Indianola community, the school district selected Snyder & Associates to prepare an athletic facilities master plan for the development of its middle school property.

Completed in October 2016, Indianola Middle School is now home to the new 30,000-square-foot Blake Fieldhouse, which was funded through the Indianola Community Youth Foundation. The multipurpose facility also features six natural turf ball fields, a new track and field stadium with a synthetic turf field, as well as multi-use recreational fields and practice space. Other amenities include an all-weather track, a 4,000-person bleacher area, and concession plaza.

For Indianola High School, which is located across from the middle school, Snyder & Associates also provided design and construction services for a new softball and baseball complex. The athletic facility design portion of this project included new fields along with several stadium amenities including a press box, bleachers, maintenance building, batting cages, and two practice football fields.

Athletic Facility Master Plan Step 1: Data & Information Collection

The planning process began with a site analysis of existing conditions and athletic facilities to determine necessary improvements. The property is shared with the City of Indianola as a community multipurpose athletic facility. As a result, significant public engagement and coordination with the school district, community athletic leagues, clubs, and other stakeholders was facilitated to ensure the community’s diverse athletic needs would be met and addressed within the master plan.

Vehicle and pedestrian site circulation was closely studied to maximize land use and create enough parking for large community events. Parking is now available onsite in multiple locations with space accommodating for over 1,000 vehicles.

Soil testing was conducted on the north soccer field and determined that specific soil amendments were needed to achieve favorable conditions for athletic seed mixes.

Ensuring Safe, Playable Sports Field Conditions

Noteworthy project components that were utilized to foster natural grass turf health and playability include:

  • An integrated and centrally controlled irrigation system for all six soccer and practice fields, featuring high-efficiency technology to reduce water use and allow for easy monitoring. This also helps the natural turf recover faster in between athletic events and increases turf playability.
  • A synthetic turf field in the stadium allows for all-weather play and competitive use while reducing maintenance needs. A summary of synthetic turf maintenance recommendations was provided to the school district to guide long-term maintenance.
  • Natural turf grass mixes were carefully selected to withstand high-traffic field sports.
  • Elaborate subsurface drainage systems for the stadium and large athletic field enhance playability and minimize downtime after inclement weather.
  • Generous field sizing allows flexibility of field markings for multipurpose athletic usage.
  • Centrally located maintenance building for easy access to equipment and reduced maintenance time.