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March 30, 2021 • Athletic AdministrationFacilities

Ranney School’s 80,000 sq ft. Outdoor Facelift

On the campus of a school that prides itself on producing the best and brightest of the future, it’s only fitting that the Ranney School provides its students with state-of-the-art facilities. 

The independent, co-ed, secular college preparatory school located in Tinton Falls, New Jersey, serves students from age 3 to Grade 12, inspiring and challenging them at every stage of their academic journey. And with 40 varsity, junior varsity, and middle school athletics teams to go with 15 athletic offerings across three seasons, the Ranney School requires a robust athletic complex to match its equally rotund athletic department. 

ranneyLooking at their 12-year-old turf field last year, Natalie Gorman, the Ranney School’s Director of Athletics, understood the need to update the school’s outdoor facilities for soccer, lacrosse, and field hockey. 

“That’s about the average life of a turf field,” Gorman, in her fourth year at the helm of the athletic department, said. “It was worn down and just didn’t age well. It needed to be replaced.” 

It was a partnership with a local soccer club, The Princeton Soccer Academy (PSA), that connected the Ranney School with Elite Turf to install the school’s multipurpose outdoor fields. When presented with Elite Turf’s POWER SYSTEM, Gorman was blown away with safety ratings as well as the ease of drainage — something on the minds of athletic directors like her in the Northeast. 

“The safety aspect with concussion reductions and the FIFA ratings were really impressive to me because I know a lot of other turf fields don’t have that,” Gorman said. “And the field plays like grass and the drainage is next level.” 

By September the Ranney School had unveiled its new 80,000 square foot multi-use surface, and according to Gorman, is already paying dividends. She noted that on a few occasions this fall season, the school hosted several field hockey and soccer games because other fields fell victim to the wet and swampy conditions of the season.

ranney“Some turf fields do not drain very well and leave puddles,” she pointed out. “We got to see ours in action and I expect to see similar results in March for the lacrosse season.” 

Aside from being weather-tough, Gorman said her soccer teams have raved about the truer feel to the game with the new turf under their feet, saying the feedback has been “less soreness and less injuries.” 

And in a school of 650 students, 350 of whom are at the high school level, everyone is taking advantage of the new turf. The lower school students and kindergarten are introduced to athletics by the varsity student-athletes and coaches, and the new turf has offered a large, socially-distant space for kids to get exercise throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The physical education department has made the most of its newest facility, incorporating as many outdoor activities as possible. 

Being leaders in innovation is what the Ranney School strives for its students, it is only fitting that its new elite turf is the first of its kind in the U.S. — eco-friendly, performance-driven athletic surfaces that offer optimal play and safety while removing 40,000 pounds of plastic from the ocean per field. In fact, the Ranney School and Gorman were so pleased with the results they will unveil another 80,000 square foot athletic surface with Elite Turf in March.