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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Making it cushy

My tepid review of the new artificial turf soccer field at the Madeleine School near us was premature. The kids and I had gone out and stomped around on the new surface, and it had seemed pretty hard to me. But that's before the latest step in the installation process: They've sprinkled the fake grass with a generous layer of tiny, rubbery granules -- ground-up tennis shoe insoles, I suspect -- and now it's absolutely springy. Big difference.

The neighborhood's really taking a liking to the place now. There are players out there at all hours when daylight's available. The dogs have been banished (at least officially) to the blacktop parking lot next door, but except for them and their owners, the field's a big plus so far.

It needs a fence around it, however, if for no other reason than to keep wayward balls on the field of play and out of the street. Without it, somebody's going to get hit by a car out there chasing down a stray shot.

Comments (3)

Looks like FieldTurf or some imitator. FieldTurf uses cryogenically frozen rubber that's pounded into granules.

In my limited experience, FieldTurf is the most player-friendly artificial surface but it's pricey. I think LO put FieldTurf into their two high schools' fields for a cool $1mm total, then the FieldTurf failed future hardness tests required by the contract. I'm curious if this stuff holds up over time. Artificial turf has historically turned into glorified concrete after sufficient time and usage.

It looks really nice, but the next thing that came to my mind was "until the dogs ruin it."

You'll see a fence go up by the end of the week. Landscaping will be planted on the north slope by the end of the month. Work continues on the covered structure for the bball court and the adjoining courtyard. Enjoy the field!

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