New Trier Stadium at the Northfield campus features ...
July 23, 2012
A tough, clean playing surface is no longer the stuff of imagination for the New Trier community.
Workers laid the synthetic grass carpet last week at New Trier Stadium at the school's Northfield campus in one of the final stages of District 203's multi-million-dollar turf project.
When finished, New Trier Stadium and a pair of practice fields at the Northfield campus will feature a synthetic turf surface, improved draining and some revamped exterior amenities, like a new ticket house and walkway.
While a heavy rain Wednesday, July 18, caused a minor setback, New Trier Maintenance Manager Dave Conway said the project is on pace to hit its target completion date. The stadium project is set to be ready for the New Trier football team's first home game Aug. 31, when the Trevs host Warren Township.
Conway and company hope the field is ready by Aug. 17 for the football team's annual Green and Blue intrasquad scrimmage, but he could not guarantee it.
"The field will almost certainly be ready, but it's about getting the kids in and out of the stadium safely," he said, pointing to the muddy, torn up grounds around the field.
On Thursday, July 19, a work crew with Nicholas & Associates finished sewing together the strips of turf, which Conway likened to carpet.
The next steps included gluing yard markers, text in the end zones and a logo at midfield, as well as pouring layers of sand and rubber, called infill.
The infill is used to support and stabilize the turf, also making the surface more forgiving on athletes' bodies.
Work on the practice fields is also under way, but behind the main facility. Project manager with Nicholas & Associates Wally Stilz said the side fields are being prepared for the actual turf, as crews finish the drainage system and smoothing the land.
The cost of the project was estimated at $3.29 million, but just $2.29 million to D203 as a $1 million donation was guaranteed by the New Trier Booster Club.
Boosters began fundraising in March, sending out letters to current New Trier district families, and have already raised $350,000, averaging $70,000 a month, putting the group more than a third of the way to its goal.
"We're feeling really good about it," said Heather Blackwell, the booster club president. "We've had nice response and participation from current families."
Blackwell said the next step is contacting alumni, of which the boosters have a database of 100,000 names and numbers. The first 12,000 letters to alum went out three weeks ago and targeted alum in state, she said.
The club will also pursue corporate donations.
The booster club made a promise to the District 203 Board of Education it would complete the fundraising in three years. Blackwell and company, however, hope to reach their goal by the end of the 2012-13 school year.
Thanks to an OK from the New Trier School Board, a donor walkway and wall will be constructed outside New Trier Stadium to recognize contributors. Corporate donors can also be featured on the wall, but without logos, according to a board decision.
To be featured on the walkway, a 4-by-8-inch brick is given for a $100 donation and an 8-by-8 is $500. For more information on donations, visit tackletheturf.com.
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