Tuesday, August 16, 2022
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TTU Seeking State Approval For Artificial Turf At Baseball And Softball Fields

Tennessee Tech wants to replace its real grass at the baseball and softball fields with artificial turf.

Capital Projects and Maintenance Director Jim Cobb said the university will request project approval from the state building commission next month.

“Obviously, we are trying to have little to no impact on their seasons,” Cobb said. “Mark Wilson has told us that he’s able to make some schedule adjustments with home versus away games to give us a little bit longer of a window.”

Athletic Director Mark Wilson said long term drainage issues, annual maintenance costs and other universities moving away from real grass caused the move. Cobb said the projects are expected to cost about $2.2 million.

“They start their season in February, and we can still get some rough weather in February,” Cobb said. “Sometimes despite their best efforts it is too wet to play. The artificial turf has a much better drainage system. The water can just pass through it, go into the drains and it carries it away.”

Cobb said the university will also ask the state’s permission to appoint a designer to oversee the project. Cobb said the university would have to meet with the designer, turf supplier and athletic department to determine an exact time line.

“It is not in our master plan specifically,” Cobb said. “We do have an over arching project in our master plan to do a new baseball and softball complex someday. But, this project doesn’t involve any new structures. Our master plan tries to target new construction and major renovations. A turf installation would not necessarily be something we highlight in a master plan.”

Cobb said 133,000 square feet at the baseball field and 43,500 at the softball field would be replaced.