Field Builder Strives For Safety

Gilmer County (GA) High School became the first school in the Southeast to play on the AstroTurf Golden Series synthetic turf system. After much deliberation over what synthetic turf product would best suit their needs, the Bobcats, nestled in the North Georgia Mountains, chose a high-density, short length fiber pad and ZeoFill Premium Zeolite infill turf system, commonly referred to as DT32, Gilmer County embarked on their journey to revolutionize their field before graduation.

With California leading the way in new synthetic turf technology. AstroTurf invested in a new alternative infill design for Los Angeles Recreation and Parks that has now been installed across the nation at high schools, municipalities and Division I fields. Driving the product was a desire to create consistency in safety utilizing a pad, a “no fly-out” infill system, and high durability with lots of fiber that had already been proven in the field over decades with lowering field temperatures. Simply stated by Jimmy Newsome of LA Recreation and Parks, “We had a table full of turf samples. After reviewing the products one by one and eliminating the ones that did not fit our needs, we had an empty table.” This drove the city to develop its own product alongside AstroTurf. Since that moment, AstroTurf has installed over 4 million square feet nationally.

The Brock SP15 pad was installed over the stone base followed by the Golden Series DT32 system; in another industry first, Gilmer’s end zone lettering and football numbers were prefabbed in a climate controlled warehouse facility before the carpet even arrived for installation. A typical field has 398 inlays plus logos and end zone lettering. By cutting these with a robotic water jet, every one is guaranteed to be the most crisp. Gilmer’s prefabbed field meant the most precise installation, no rain complications and the field was ready on time for graduation. The last step of field construction, 1.5 pounds of sand per square foot was incorporated into the synthetic turf system as a ballast before the topping of the cake ZeoFill was groomed into place.

The Golden Series turf replaces rubber infill with ZeoFill, a brand of Zeolite. ZeoFill is an all-natural mineral, able to absorb 81% of its weight in water and release it slowly to create an evapotranspiration effect, thereby cooling the field. 

“We absolutely love the new field and track! It looks great and gave the students a real sense of pride to play on this fall. We are looking forward to using it for our upcoming soccer and track & field season.”- Principal Carla Foley

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