Roy E. Lee Field is the home stadium for the men’s NCAA Division I baseball team at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. To provide a superior playing surface for the Cougars baseball team, a synthetic turf was installed. Work included removing the grass infield and constructing a synthetic turf surface. The excess earth that was removed from the infield was shaped into a berm behind the outfield fence, creating additional space for spectators.
The grass and dirt infield was converted to a synthetic turf surface to combat mid-western weather patterns. The implementation of a synthetic turf infield significantly reduces the number of rainouts and improves playing conditions – especially in the early spring when the frost is thawing and the earth surfaces are typically mud-covered. Also, typical maintenance costs such as mowing, watering, and overseeding are eliminated.
To ensure that the field was available on opening day in March 2011, Oates Associates accommodated an aggressive schedule – completing the survey, design, and bidding phase within 45-days of notice to proceed. We also provided construction observation, material testing, and construction layout during the ongoing construction period.
During the design phase, research was conducted to select the desired turf material. The product selected is designed to reduce infill “splash” or “fly-out” which typically occurs when a baseball strikes the turf or when a player slides. The product selected is a dual-fabric system consisting of a monofilament tape blade designed to lay over the infill and a shorter polyethylene fiber thatch layer designed to hold the infill in-place.