The grass is always greener…. or in this case the turf is.
Over this past summer break, the Dominican University Athletics program built an entirely new soccer facility. The natural grass was replaced with turf and an iron fence was built around the field, in efforts to keep wildlife off of the space. With the new facility the men’s and women’s Dominican soccer teams are ready for action as they prepare for their upcoming seasons.
Although the new field is beneficial, it cost the school a pretty penny. About 1.2 million dollars went into the renovations, Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration Amy McCormack said. About one million dollars came from an Illinois state grant. The remainder of the funding is composed of the eventual savings the new turf will bring Dominican. In seven years the turf’s installation will be paid off and the upkeep required will be minimal.
The previous field had been in place for 11 years and had required significant upkeep in that time. The maintenance and upkeep of the field was an ongoing expense of $100,000 per year for the university.
“We prided ourselves on owning a natural grass field, but when it came time to replace it, it was just more cost efficient for the school to switch to turf,” McCormack said.
This year the new athletic facility will be getting a lot more use because both soccer teams, as well as the new men’s Junior Varsity soccer team, will use it. The River Forest Park District will also be using the field on Sundays for their 13+ age group traveling soccer.
With all the extra use the natural grass would have had to undergo extensive repairs after each season. The turf, however, is more durable and able to handle the constant use. In order to keep that turf clean and protected, the iron fence has been added to keep out animals from nearby surroundings.
To break in the new field the men’s and women’s teams opened their seasons with home games on Thursday, Sept. 1. The women unfortunately took a loss on their brand new home field but the men broke it in nicely with a win of 2-1 against the University of Chicago.
— Nicole Foley, Sports Editor