The field that spectators will get used to seeing on Friday nights at Carroll High School is in its final stages of installation.
Workers from Cincinnati-based The Motz Group were out in full force Sept. 16, installing field elements including yard lines and Charger logos. Carroll becomes the sixth Summit Athletic Conference football team to roll out a turf surface on its campus, but the addition will benefit programs across the entire school, offering a space for soccer games, marching band events, physical education classes, and baseball and softball practices when bad weather rolls in, Dan Ginder, the school’s athletic director and vice principal, said.
“The number of events and uses grow exponentially when you start talking about turf,” Ginder said. “… Personally, I loved our grass surface — there’s nothing that beats a grass field. I understand and get why we went turf, and that was the right decision for those benefits for all the programs, whether it’s academic things that we can move out here or band or athletics practices, and we certainly will save a little bit of painting and mowing time, but the real benefits are the usability factor.”
Carroll is the most recent high school in the state to partner with Motz, the company installing the new surface. The company was also responsible for the turf fields at Indiana Tech, East Allen County Schools, Northrop High School, World Baseball Academy and 75 other athletic facilities in Indiana. Ginder noted Carroll’s new field is made of the same turf used at the Cincinnati Bengals’ and the Indianapolis Colts’ stadiums, which were also Motz projects.
The field is comprised of several individual pieces, and certain elements including the centerfield logo and the yard lines are added independently of the rest of the field. The primary backing helps eliminate wrinkles and turf creep, and a secondary polyurethane layer is added to lock the fibers in place. After the surface is placed, it is infilled with a crumb rubber mixture.
Some maintenance will be involved, Ginder said, but the school expects to get between 12 and 15 years of use out of the new surface — while being able to compete in just about any weather outside a thunderstorm, without worrying about tearing up the field.
The turf is just one element of a larger site improvement project at Carroll, which includes an entirely new stadium, upgrades to the soccer fields and marching band practice fields, new parking lots, new soccer practice fields and campus traffic flow improvements. Those improvements represent a more than $20 million project the NACS Board of School Trustees awarded to Weigand Construction in March.
The new stadium will include “increased improvement in everything, whether it’s ticketing, concessions, restrooms, bleachers, press box, locker rooms out here — we’re going to benefit a lot from this new facility,” Ginder said.
The new stadium will replace Carroll’s current football complex, which was built when the school opened more than 50 years ago and the football program was competing in Class 1A. The current bleachers seat roughly 2,200 spectators, though not comfortably, Ginder said. The new facility will be able to seat about 4,400 on the home side and 2,000 on the visitors side.
The completion date is scheduled for late July or early August next year.
“It’s been a long time coming in terms of desires to improve our facilities overall,” Ginder said. “… We’ve been able to be a part of it from the very beginning in terms of designing with the architects and recreating spaces that we felt were necessary to make the overall experience better from a functioning standpoint and from a spectator standpoint.”