The city of Scotts Valley will soon have its first artificial playing turf for multiple purpose use for student athletes, youth and adults.
It was a sunny, warm morning at the ceremonial ground breaking on Tuesday at the Salvation Army Redwood Glen Camp and Conference Center. After completing a three year fundraising campaign, construction is beginning to refurbish the field at the campground.
“The dream was to make something that was playable for the kids and would last a long time,” said Ed Covert, executive director of the Redwood Glen Camp.
The project expected to be completed in August will be the first synthetic field in Scotts Valley. The 80,000 square feet field turf will include a full regulation soccer field, softball diamond and lacrosse field marking. The infill material will be sand and cork to avoid concerns over crumb rubber infill material. According to Brian Bothman, vice president of Robert A. Bothman Construction, there have been concerns about using crumb rubber infill because it can make the field very hot. In order to avoid any issues, the contract and design team opted for the use of sand and cork. Cork infill is commonly used on FIFA soccer fields in Europe.
The construction of the field costs $1.1 million and has been funded by a few large donors, local community groups and a host of small donors through crowd funding.
“This is an exciting day,” said Lt. Colonel Cindy Foley. “We are thrilled to have this become available for the over 1,000 kids that come here in the summer and the 30,000 people that utilize the area for other experiences.”
The current field was unusable due to the recent drought and activity that created holes and trip hazards on the field. An added benefit of swapping from a sod field to a synthetic field is it will not be a burden to keep watered. The current field required nearly two million gallons of water per year to maintain quality.
“We’ve got fantastic elements to our community; and we tend to draw a number of families with kids,” said Mayor Jim Reed. “And these kids need playing areas. You’d hear stories of kids stepping in holes because of rodents—so the problem is real. So we found a solution the Scotts Valley way.”
The shock absorption factor of the new field will improve the safety and fall protection of all participants and the play surface itself will be hazard free and consistently smooth.
“We are excited to be able to be a resource for the community,” said Covert. “Our new field will be a welcome addition to the inventory of practice fields.”