A-Turf At Bat for Diamond Nation
Posted February 17, 2010
It wasn’t exactly tied at the bottom of the ninth, bases loaded, full count kind of pressure, but when you take a look at the scope of the project it’s clear that the stakes were high. With more than 1.2 billion fiber blades, 3 million pounds of rubber and sand infill mix and nearly 4 thousand man-hours, the stage was being set for America’s favorite pastime to take root in Flemington, NJ.
As a national synthetic turf field builder, building any field is a labor of love. But, building the fields at Diamond Nation, a premier baseball and softball tournament and training facility, was love – times six. Spanning 65-acres, the Diamond Nation project called for not one, but six new A-Turf® synthetic fields to be installed, creating the most expansive baseball and softball complex on the east coast.
Diamond Nation is home to the nationally renowned Jack Cust Baseball Academy, as well as the new Jennie Finch Softball Academy. Billed as a one-of-kind sports complex, Diamond Nation features six exclusive A-Turf synthetic grass baseball and softball fields. Of the six new fields, four are 90’ fields at 110,455 sq. ft., and two are 60’ or 70’ fields at 45,085 sq. ft., for an impressive total of more than 531,000 sq. ft. of all-weather, synthetic turf.
Each of the 90’ baseball fields is designed with the unique ability to be converted into two little league size fields, each with its own backstop, dugout and bullpens. This feature gives the complex the ability to play up to 12 games simultaneously and the versatility to have both baseball and softball games.
For A-Turf, successfully managing a field installation project of this scope meant tapping into a few crucial factors that differentiate them in the marketplace – expertise and experience in handling multi-field installations, superior craftsmanship and great attention to detail.
“As the field builder for Diamond Nation, it was our job to take what looked great on paper and make it a reality in the field,” says Jim Dobmeier, President and Founder of A-Turf. “Anyone familiar with specialty construction understands that task is often easier said than done.”
Knowing what works and what doesn’t separates success from the rest. While a project of this size is handled in different ways depending on the general contractor, every successful field installation begins and ends with good communication. For each of the six fields installed at Diamond Nation, great coordination was required with a multitude of trades, including the site contractor, engineers, excavators, lighting, fencing and more.
“We had a lot of material – more than 80 trucks worth – coming to the job site and sound pre-planning was critical. Knowing the right time to ship and how to stage the material for efficient and effective offload and installation is an essential role in project management,” explains Dobmeier. “Downplaying the importance of the logistics can be a costly mistake.”
For every detail you can control, there is another you can’t. The Diamond Nation project began and ended in what’s now being referred to by some as the rainy season for New Jersey and surrounding states. Despite one of the wettest springs in recent history, the installation continued, which might just serve as testament to the all-weather aspects of the new Diamond Nation fields.
“As a tournament facility, the fewer the delays the better. It was important that the fields at Diamond Nation provide optimal play regardless of the weather and the continual use. They have that, and with A-Turf they can count on that for a very long time.”