To borrow from Winston Churchill, never before has such a confined space served so many for so long as had old Halden Field at Ron & Mary Brown Stadium at Davis High.
Built in 2008, the multipurpose facility has been home — for games or workouts — to almost all of the 27 Blue Devil sports. Halden Field also has served as the local youth-league gridiron; has hosted summer track-and-field camps, graduations and fundraising fun runs; and has been the site of clinics ranging from field hockey to football to lacrosse.
Synthetic-field industry statistics suggest that most football-style carpets have a 5- to 7-year life expectancy. DHS Athletic Director Jeff Lorenson says the hope for the original Brown Stadium field was to get seven good seasons out of the turf. Almost 12 years later, it’s finally out with the old and in with the new.
Lorenson told The Enterprise on Friday that finishing touches are being put on the new-look field, which could be available for Blue Devil use sometime next week. Final treatments are being applied, he says, that will help keep the turf “standing tall, help with traction and absorb any water.”
Lorenson continued: “That also will keep the turf a lot, lot, lot cooler during the hot days. We have a water cannon that comes with (the new field) … and can be used to cool things down. Supposedly, it works really well. On those hot days we can go out there and push a button. It will water the surface, park itself and we’ll have an even better surface for our kids.”
The approximately $1.2 million resurfacing project began in early December, displacing DHS boys and girls soccer teams, which will have had to play six games each at Playfields Park in the interim.
“The drop-dead date in planning to get back (to full use) is Feb. 3,” Lorenson explains. “But (the crews) obviously are ahead of schedule.
“Everybody’s begging us to get back out there, and I’d like nothing more than to say ‘Let’s get out there and play,’ but as soon as we do, we own it and we want to make sure it’s perfect before we do.”
However, before any workouts or soccer games head back to Brown Stadium, Davis Joint Unified School District officials have to sign off on the new surface “as acceptable,” says Lorenson. Plus, construction materials must be removed from the premises.
AstroTurf and Valley Precision Grading are under contract for the project.
Considering the almost non-stop use the old field received during school years, Lorenson assures folks that the district got its money’s worth the first time around. He said regular maintenance was, and will continue to be, the key to longevity.
The only problem with the original turf was the need to replace a couple of patches where lacrosse goalies stood, the athletic director says, adding, “We did a great job of field maintenance … ensuring that we had (periodic tests), ensuring safety.”
One of those tests is something called the GMax threshold …
“That measures the shock-continuation performance of the sports surface,” Lorenson explains. “Basically, telling us hardness and softness of areas. There’s like 200 little flags out there when they (do that test).”
The distinctive alternating light and dark green “grass” patterns and “Davis” and “Blue Devils” end zones are augmented by lineage that helps define a host of sports’ playing fields, not just football.
Lorenson says that by completing the stadium floor refurbishment during the winter, the school district saved $200,000. The surrounding quarter-mile synthetic track was untouched but a request for a new coating is expected to go to the local school board this week.
Given the ever-improving safety and longevity guarantees of new-wave athletic surfaces, Lorenson concludes it’s a safe bet that Halden Field’s new state-of-the-art carpet will serve thousands at Davis High and in the community throughout the next decade.
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