The playing fields, used for intramurals, club sports, academic classes and community rentals, are currently being reinstalled with new synthetic turf this summer and will be complete by early August, in time for the fall semester.
Sprigg field, located along Sprigg Street south of Southeast’s Softball Complex, will provide 87,288 square feet of turf, and Bertling field, located along Bertling Street west of Southeast’s Softball Complex, will provide a 75,576 square-foot playing surface.
The University is making the switch from natural grass to synthetic turf to better serve the recreational needs of Southeast students, said Mike Buck, director of Southeast’s Recreation Services.
“Synthetic turf enables us to schedule more events throughout the day, play longer seasons and have minimal cancellations due to inclement weather,” said Buck.
The new synthetic fields, being installed by Shaw Sports Turf, will be large enough and tougher to accommodate an array of activities by different user groups, including soccer, baseball or softball, flag football, ultimate Frisbee and cricket.
Unlike natural grass, which requires more maintenance, Shaw Sports Turf’s Momentum system is a high performance synthetic turf system designed with a proven slit film technology providing durability and performance benefits for year-round usage.
“We won’t have to worry about wear and tear and can encourage our students to play whenever they want,” said Eric Redinger, associate director of Southeast’s Recreation Services.
The turf technology also allows for play to continue during periods of rainfall and is safer, added Redinger. With additional easy-to-use assembly fencing, the fields can easily transition for any student or University requirement.
Recreation Services anticipates the change will be a positive impact for current and future generations of students and is a commitment by the University to enhance their college experience outside the classroom, said Buck.
“The new fields will become a great recruitment and retention tool for our University,” said Buck. “Our club sports teams and participants are increasing each year. This project provides a space for those teams to practice and compete. We will be one of only a handful of schools our size and in this region to be able to offer this type of space for our students, and we are very excited about that and the potential it provides.”
For more information about Southeast’s Recreation Services, visit http://www.semo.edu/recservices/.