April 17, 2020 • Cross countryFacilitiesFootballLacrosseSoccerTrack & Field

Choosing turf: how one school district implemented a superior product

{Sponsored} Ten years ago, the Hamburg Area School District in Pennsylvania renovated the stadium that contained their football field as well as the track. At the time, the field was grass, and it was subject to all of the issues that can result from the average drainage system: puddles, damage to the grass if misused when wet and delays in practices and games due to rain. Their aging restrooms in the stadium were having problems, and the concessions area was rendered unusable as a result.

They embarked upon the process of renovating everything — bleachers, concessions, the cinder track that flooded in rain, restrooms, concessions and basically everything except for the visitor bleachers. Since they’d opted to go with a synthetic track, the school board allowed the athletic department to look into artificial turf. It also helped that field hockey, as a sport, was moving toward turf, providing additional impetus for the school district to transition to turf.

Aaron Menapace, athletic director for the school district, was able to work with exceptional pricing and a fast turn-around with the turf due to the school district’s relationship with the Keystone Purchasing Network (KPN). They were also able to go with FieldTurf, maker of a premium artificial turf product. Since installation, the maintenance costs and time has been significantly less than with natural turf.Hamburg Area School District PA Stadium

The experience of playing on the field was improved over the erstwhile grass. “The kids love it! There are no bad hops. They like the fact that unless it is really raining hard, you can still play and it doesn’t affect how you play; you don’t’ slip. Footing has been fantastic,” Menapace said.

The stadium is the school district’s only such field. Because of the renovations, the school district was able to start a middle school track team, introducing new students to the sport who otherwise wouldn’t be able to participate in spring athletics. Since they went with turf during the renovation, they are able to host field hockey tournaments. The soccer teams also gained a new 75-foot-wide field on the same turf. The concession sales from all of the additional sports and groups that use the space has skyrocketed. “We’ve certainly got our money’s worth,” Menapace said.

The relationship with KPN is what made this high-quality turf affordable — and even in the realm of possibility. “It would scare me to have to go back out and bid and take the lowest number because it is the lowest because we’ve just been exceptionally pleased with FieldTurf and their products,” Menapace said. He calls the process of working with KPN “as easy as it gets.”

The opportunity hasn’t just been for the school district. Menapace said that the tournaments and additional athletic opportunities that the turf in their stadium has extended to the town. He estimates that the stadium renovation has brought hundreds of thousands of people to town over the last decade, and in addition to spending time at the stadium, they purchase gas, eat in restaurants and shop in the downtown area.

For more information about the Keystone Purchasing Network and how they can help your renovations go smoother and your costs be lower, visit theKPN.com.