LaBella’s Eastridge High School Field Honored by the American Sports Builders Association
LaBella Associates won the “Single Field” award from the American Sports Builders Association (ASBA) for the multi-purpose field at Eastridge High School!
The American Sports Builders Association (ASBA), the national organization for builders and suppliers of materials for tennis courts, running tracks, fields and courts, as well as recreational facilities, annually recognizes tennis, running tracks, fields, and indoor facilities which exemplify construction excellence. A panel of ASBA members judges entries on elements such as layout and design, site work drainage, base construction, surface, amenities, innovation, and overall impression.
The multi-purpose field at Eastridge High School was an exciting project for LaBella. The existing natural grass baseball field was constructed in 2015; however, the proximity of a spring fed pond and silty topsoil ended up resulting in a very wet outfield. The District was unable to play many of their home games each spring because of how wet the outfield was. Hoping for three-season play, the District hired LaBella to design a synthetic turf field that would stay dry. While the existing field was exclusively for baseball, the District decided they wanted a multi-purpose field which would allow other sports to have some additional practice space.
In order to ensure the field would stay dry, we knew we would have to raise it. Additionally, because we had no room for a storm water management facility (pond) outside the area of the field, we designed a chamber system under the field which in turn forced the field even higher to keep the chamber system out of the high ground water.
The dugouts for this field presented an interesting challenge as well. Initially, the plan was to take the prefabricated dugouts apart and set them back in at a higher elevation once the field was raised. Instead, due to concerns about the structural integrity following relocation and reassembly, and the need to tie into existing elevations adjacent to the field so we could avoid replacing the new tennis courts and roadway, we decided to leave them in their original position. Since they were at a lower elevation in the original spot, they have the look and feel of true sunken dugouts.
Players and coaches love the new field. For one, they are able to play in all kinds of weather, and have even practiced in the snow! The turf is also “as close to real grass as can be” according to Mike Screen, head coach. The coaches and the players are all pleasantly surprised that the turf doesn’t change the way the ball is played the way they thought it would. Now both players and spectators have a reliable venue to enjoy the game