The Right Team = The Right Outcome

 

A Successful Partnership with Architects

School Districts across New York are in the midst of planning their 2019-20 budgets and possible capital bond work.  Many capital bond projects include improvements and upgrades to their outdoor athletic facilities, including new or rehabilitating existing tracks and fields. Campus parking and bus and parent drop off circulation, as well as drainage, water supply and sanitary disposal systems may also be in need of upgrades.

It is important to accurately scope out these improvements to assure that adequate funds are allocated in the capital bond vote.  Once the capital bond project is presented to the District, and all SEQRA work completed, it is difficult to update the scope of work and even harder to obtain additional funding if omissions are made in the initial estimating of these improvements.

Your site consultant needs to be involved in the process from the very beginning to accurately identify the specific site needs, lay out the project and to determine accurate project costs.  You, the Architect, have enough responsibility working with building renovations and new structures. Let your consultant handle the site work and estimates of probable costs of construction. This is where Barton & Loguidice (B&L) can help! As your go-to Engineering and Landscape Architectural firm, let our knowledge and experience in this area help you through this process. We will be by your side at Board and public presentations to answer questions about the bond and scope of work.

For example, when a District decides to upgrade its ‘Game Day or Contest Field’ from its current run down grass facility to a new artificial turf field, complete with new sports lighting, the general public will  be interested in the benefits  of the expenditure of significant capital money. The questions that come up seem to be the same, no matter where we are in the State. The most common concerns focus on the health and safety of the infill material used in the synthetic turf system and the safety of their athletes. 

Are you, the Architect, or the Superintendent of Schools, prepared to answer these concerns?  B&L’s knowledge of alternate infill systems (other than crumb rubber from recycled tires) will prove valuable when these decisions and discussions take place. B&L has designed many fields with a variety of alternate infill systems, and are able to evaluate and determine what infill works best for any given project. These decisions will ultimately benefit the District in terms of the safety, performance, environmental benefits, and product life cycle costs, of a turf system.

Another issue  that typically needs to be addressed are concussion injuries to the athletes and other joint and body injuries, especially women athletes The latest information on athlete concussions attribute 1 in 4 concussions  to turf impact.  Just last year, new standards issued by ASTM concerning Head Injury Criteria (HIC) were adopted.  This has now superseded the G-MAX standard as the new safety standard when designing synthetic fields.  Our design team takes HIC and G-MAX into consideration, along with the performance of the field, when designing new fields and when replacing older fields. The G-MAX test is better suited to evaluate body impacts on turf and therefore is still an important tool to use when evaluating the safety of a field.  The question has always been how to balance safety and performance to design the best system for a particular sport or client.  We feel our designers have the proper information to design the most optimum and safe synthetic turf systems for our clients. 

When we design a synthetic field, we keep both our client in mind as well as the Student Athlete; our intent is to keep the athletes healthy and in the game, not on the sidelines due to concussions or injuries caused by the synthetic turf system.

If the Bond does not include a synthetic turf field, B&L can still be a valuable partner to your team. Site concerns, including lack of parking, poor circulation and dangerous conditions caused by congestion can be addressed by our traffic engineers. Any construction resulting in an increase in impervious surfaces needs to be addressed in the construction document design. These measures create added construction costs that may be omitted if not properly identified beforehand.

Our team can work with you to produce informational booklets to get the news about the bond out to the public to assist in receiving a positive vote from them. Presenting the correct information to the public will only help in passing a contentious bond project, when every positive vote counts.

Barton & Loguidice is a full-service planning, engineering, environmental science, and landscape architecture firm with offices across New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland. Our 250-plus employees work collaboratively to provide high-quality, customized solutions to meet clients’ needs across a broad range of disciplines, including Asset Management, Fueling Systems and Storage, Construction, Energy & Power Systems, Environmental including Industrial Hygiene, Landscape Architecture, Municipal Services, Site Design, Stormwater Management, and Transportation.

 

Please contact Ron Tetelman, RLA, CPESC at Barton & Loguidice, at (800) 724-1070 or rtetelman@bartonandloguidice.com for assistance navigating athletic field site projects.