Crews completed work last week on Englewood's turf practice field that became a reality thanks to a school district-city district partnership providing the funding.
The project cost about $695.000. The Englewood Parks and Recreation Department …
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The project cost about $695.000. The Englewood Parks and Recreation Department submitted a successful application for a $250,000 Arapahoe Open Space Grant for the project. The school district provided the remainder of the funds.
Joe Sack, the city's recreation services manager, said the partnership came about as a way to replace one of the athletic fields in Hosanna Sports north of Englewood High School, which was lost when the softball field was built.
“The field that was taken up by the new softball diamond was heavily used by the school district, recreation department and the public,” he said.”We began looking for a way to replace it, and the result was this partnership with the schools.”
The new turf field was built in the area north of the Englewood High School Stadium on the site of the old dirt practice field.
The dirt practice field was covered with weeds, and repeated efforts to sod the field failed. It was uneven and there were some large potholes. The field was used for football practice and was used as the discus area during track meets. Once a year, the center of the field became the site for the homecoming bonfire.
After the contract was awarded, crews came in and leveled the field in order to prepare the area for the base.
Trucks delivered the huge rolls of turf that were stored along the edge of the field. One by one, a specific roll was moved into the field and unrolled. A portion of the installation resembled home carpet installation as crews pulled the turf tight so the final field was a seamless surface.
Once the turf was in place, a tractor made passes up and down the field, spreading sand and tiny rubber pellets on the field.
Sack said the new turf field will be available for many different uses.
“The field will have line markings for soccer, football and lacrosse,” he said. “The school district has first priority for scheduling use of the field and the recreation department has the second priority for scheduling. The field will be available for members of the community for sports activities when no school or recreation department activity is scheduled.”
When the project was announced in June, Mayor Randy Penn said it was a good decision.
“When Englewood High School put turf on the stadium field, the estimate was the school district saved about $80,000 a year that traditionally was spent on irrigation, sod replacement and maintenance, which included lining the field for each athletic event,” he said.
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