Bellarmine College Preparatory Athletic Field
December 11, 2008 By Mary Helen Sprecher for American Track & Field Bellarmine College Preparatory, according to its website, is in the business of readying its students not just for the career world, but for becoming a part of the larger community. An added bonus for the students of this Jesuit secondary school located in San Jose, CA, is that it can prepare its student athletes for the upscale sports facilities of collegiate athletics, and perhaps for those facilities found even beyond that level. The school’s newly renovated synthetic turf fields, one of which is located in the center of its running track, are providing a model training ground.
The fields, adaptable for football and soccer, were recently named one of the year’s outstanding sports field facilities in the awards program offered by the American Sports Builders Association (ASBA), the professional association of builders, manufacturers, designers and suppliers of equipment used in athletic facilities in the U.S. and worldwide. The awards program, offered each year, recognizes sports facilities in various categories for their excellence in design and construction.
Verde Design, Inc. of Santa Clara, CA was the prime consultant for the sports fields projects, as well as the construction manager. The project, which involved the replacement of two natural turf fields with state-of-the-art synthetic turf facilities, includes irrigation and drainage systems, as well as a potable water system.
Players, who once had to contend with natural grass and dirt, now have new fields that boast a 2-1/2” tall infill synthetic turf with sand and rubber infill and sewn seams. The specialty contractor on the project was FieldTurf Tarkett of Montreal, Quebec, a manufacturer and installer of synthetic grass playing fields and indoor play surfaces.
The newly installed field has a brightly colored school logo and end zones in a contrasting shade as well. The entire facility has a host of new amenities, including portable player benches, fencing, and goals for soccer and football. In addition to the sporting events taking place on the field, Verde personnel note that the field can be used by the school band.
According to the awards application, Verde Design completed the project in August 2007. The new facilities appear on the school’s website as one of the advantages the school can offer prospective pupils.
“Bellarmine is very proud to have some of the finest athletic facilities around, with many programs enjoying recent and significant improvement,” reads the site. “In the summer of 2007, Bellarmine’s Ghiorso Football Field was replaced with artificial turf and the track was also resurfaced.”
For Verde Design, whose fields those words describe, it is a form of vindication. The site, according to Verde’s awards application, had “very limited construction access, and laydown of materials for the contractor created unique sequencing by the contractor.”
Overcoming those obstacles was difficult enough, but being able to do so and include a new drainage system in the field area with perimeter trenches with perforated sub-drains, was an even more significant accomplishment.
According to Verde, the field features a lime-treated sloped subgrade (0.75% cross-slope) and a looped two-inch irrigation mainline with one-inch quick couplers (a total of eight per field).
All finished facilities meet the standards for the governing bodies for competitions played on the high school level, meaning they keep officials as happy as they keep the players and the spectators who flock to the stands to take in the football and soccer games of the Bellarmine Bells.