The team responsible for the field included design professionals Stantec Sport of Boston; general contractor RAD Sports, Rockland, MA; specialty contractor Cape & Island Tennis & Track, Pocasset, MA; track surface suppliers Beynon Sports Surfacing, Inc., Hunt Valley, MD; and Sportsfield Specialties, Inc., Delhi, NY.

ASBA names Archbishop Williams facility its Single Field of the Year award winner

Maybe the question isn’t who’s outstanding in their field, but whose field is outstanding. The American Sports Builders Association named the new track and field facility at Archbishop Williams High School, in Braintree, Massachusetts, as its Single Field of the Year facility in its annual awards program.

The team responsible for the field included design professionals Stantec Sport of Boston, Massachusetts, general contractor RAD Sports (Rockland, Massachusetts), specialty contractor Cape & Island Tennis & Track (Pocasset, Massachusetts), track surface suppliers  Beynon Sports Surfacing, Inc.  (Hunt Valley, Maryland) and Sportsfield Specialties, Inc. (Delhi, New York).

Lots of challenges were in store for the team. The field was surrounded by an old track made of asphalt with lines painted directly on it. The track was less than the required 400m length, and the school wanted a facility that was in compliance with the National Federation of State High School Athletic Associations (NFHS) and the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA, which goes by the rules of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, or NCAA).

“Due to poor soils at the site, we used the geotechnical recommendation to preload the area of compressible soils because it was not feasible to remove the poor soils from the site,” noted Patrick Maguire of  Stantec.

“We were able to fit a full-size track with the use of site walls to fit a large footprint into a very tight space by reorienting the track completely,” notes Maguire.  The finished project has a synthetic turf field located within the new synthetic track. The field can accommodate football and soccer and is lighted with four 1,500 watt fixtures on 75′ poles to facilitate night play. It features a permanent aluminum bleacher system as well.

The orientation of the field is northeast/southwest, and the field itself is graded at .75% on a crown. It is designed to drain vertically, so the pitch is wholly aesthetic. It has a subsurface drainage system utilizing flat perforated underdrains spaced 20′ o.c. in a herringbone pattern across the field. There is a 12″ perforated perimeter drain at the edge of the field, into which the flat drains tie. The entire drainage system has an outlet to a town drainage system on an adjacent street.

The total turf profile is 12″ which includes a geotextile fabric overlaying the field subgrade, the flat drains on top of the filter fabric, 8″ of crushed 3/8″ stone, 2″ of a finishing stone layer and 2″ more of infill material. The turf itself includes both sand and rubber infill. Panels are sewn and only the logo of the school has been inlaid.

The end result has been a facility that not only is a showcase for student athletes, but a showpiece for the school system. And while the team that created the field can be proud of an award-winning  project, and the school administrators can bask in the glow of a flagship track and field facility, it is the student athletes themselves who turn out to be the winners, enjoying the benefits of a first-class facility every time they practice, play or even walk onto the field.