The Cobb County School District has begun the renovation of the stadium field surfaces at all 16 of its public high schools.
Allatoona has already broken ground, with many more expecting to start early this summer. Makeovers at Hillgrove, Kennesaw Mountain, South Cobb, Wheeler, Pebblebrook, Sprayberry and Campbell have either started or are expected to get under way soon. All should be ready to go in time for the scheduled start of football in August.
Sports Turf, a company based in Whitesburg, is handling the project. It is laying down an AstroTurf RootZone 3D Decade System, with costs ranging between $444,000 and $580,000, which includes a 10-year warranty.
The surface is filled in with rubber pellets and better shock absorbency to ensure better safety and durability for student-athletes. Cobb County athletic director Don Baker said the new surface will also limit maintenance, irrigation and personnel costs.
With installation resuming in the winter for the schools not slated to get new fields this summer, Baker anticipates that the job to be completed by the spring of 2021, with no interference with athletic activities.
About a decade following the initial installation to put in artificial turf fields countywide, Baker said it was time to replace the fields with a surface that is more “industry-standard.”
Coaches also agreed that a change was necessary.
“For us, it’s perfect timing,” Kennesaw Mountain football coach Caleb Carmean said. “We are doing a full school rebranding. We’re getting new logos, new lettering, and the turf will have our new logo on it.
“We started to notice some low points on our field. Just like any field, a dip in the playing surface can change a whole trajectory of a player who is running at full speed.”
The procedure is expected to take 45 days for each field. Allatoona’s field expected to be finished by June 18, after the project launched in early May.
“Any time you get something new, it’s nice to have,” Sprayberry football coach Brett Vavra said. “We’ve had our turf for 10 to 11 years now, and it’s maxed out its life. It will look a little different. We’ll have some new logos on it.”
Along with the 16 fields in Cobb County, Sports Turf is also breaking new ground at other schools in the metro-Atlanta area. Gwinnett County’s Dacula and Mill Creek are also getting their fields resurfaced, Carrollton is having new turf put down in its indoor practice facility and Fayette County, Sandy Creek and Starr’s Mill are getting their tracks revamped.
“I have been impressed with Sports Turf and have been in constant communication with them throughout the design and installation,” Baker said. “Our athletic directors and coaches are excited to have new fields, and that excitement is shared by our athletes and communities.”