By: Kevin Keane | WCTV Eyewitness Sports
July 9, 2018
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Installation of the new turf at Gene Cox Stadium is nearing completion as the beginning of high school football season in the Big Bend draws nearer.
The home-base for several teams in the area, Gene Cox could very well be on it's way to being one of the nicest fields in Tallahassee as well.
The stadium is currently being outfitted with a brand new astro-turf playing surface. The project, which cost about $800,000, is expected to be finished in the next week and be ready for the season's kickoff.
The facelift will cut costs on field maintenance and, according to Astroturf, is guaranteed for the next 10 years.
Unlike the old grass one that was lumpy and could get soggy, this one is meant for speed, safety and even rain.
"There are actually holes that are made for rain to go thru the turf," said James Knight with Astroturf. "It'll actually drain through the shock pad then it's set up with the pods. It's set up with such a percentage that it slopes to their drainage area that is tied out here at the field line. So, it can handle two to three inches of rain an hour and be dry and people can actually get out there and play on it."
The three-tiered field is made up of gravel on the bottom, a shock abosring layer in the middle which will help to reduce impact and concussion and, on the top, the turf layer.
Knight said they've ween working seven day weeks to get the field done on schedule.
"Usually, we have between five and seven guys on a crew. Sometimes, other crews come in to help," he continued. "It's pretty extensive. They probably dig it down about six feet, put a sub-grade drain system into this that's made to last a 100-year flood or whatever. Then, we cover it up with the shock pad as well as the turf."