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The City Journals

Jordan, Alta High Schools Get New Turf Fields

Aug 03, 2016 10:19AM ● By Chris Larson

Kyle Falslev, FieldTurf local superintendent and installer, runs a “spreader” over the turf fibers after sand and rubber grit is dumped on it. The spreader lifts the grass up and shoots the fill into place, Falslev said. Location: Jordan High School Football Stadium. —Chris Larson

By Chris Larson | [email protected]

Sandy, Utah - Alta and Jordan High Schools will play on the same kind of turf that the Utes and Seahawks play on for the coming football and girls’ soccer seasons.

Construction of new multi-use artificial turf fields wrapped up this week at Jordan High School and Alta High School as part of the Canyons School District’s initiative renovation plan to make all the high school football fields “top of the line.”

District spokesman Jeff Haney said in an email that the initiative to improve physical facilities launched with the inception of the district in 2009. The last three years have seen new fields go in at Brighton, Corner Canyon and Hillcrest High Schools.

“As we see it, when the teams hit gridiron this fall, they will be competing on some of the best fields in the Salt Lake Valley,” Haney said. 

Improvements to the new fields include improving or, as in the case of the Alta High field, removing the underground turf drainage system, adding permanent color emblems and the marks for soccer and lacrosse.

Jordan High School Principal Tom Sherwood said it has been about 10 years since there was a major update to the field like this. He also said that the field will have no major sponsor or donors and will remain titled simply Jordan High Football Stadium.

The install and renovations had a district budget of $1.8 million for both fields: about $1 million for the new and improved drainage system at the Alta High field and $800,000 for the Jordan High field.

Kyle Falslev, installer and superintendent, said work on the two fields started in May of this year. Work on the Alta field concluded on the second week in July and work on the Jordan field concluded on the third week of July. 

Normally installing a new field takes about two weeks. But the sub-surface work at the Alta field stalled the process, putting a strain on his Logan-based business. 

Falslev explained that each field consist of a very permeable backing of the artificial, grass like turf--which is about two-and-a-quarter inches long--filled with a bottom layer of fine silica sand and alternating layers of fine, rounded rubber grit and sand that end with a thick layer of rubber grit, leaving about a quarter of an inch of turf exposed all set on “crates” that gives about an inch of space for draining water to flow from under the field to a main drain. 

Falslev works for a company called FieldTurf, a company that claims to be the “undisputed world leader in artificial sports surfacing.” FieldTurf says that 21 of the 32 NFL teams have FieldTurf in either stadiums or practice facilities, or both. Other NCAA clients include The University of Michigan, Ohio State University, The University of Texas and, fellow PAC-12 opponent to the University of Utah, University of Washington.

The Jordan high field called four about 640,000 pounds of sand 180,000 pounds of rubber. The Alta field was slightly smaller and called for less product, according to Falslev. 

The district is also renovating the tracks at both fields, according to Haney. He estimates at Aug. 1 completion date. 

“To be sure, the teams in Canyons District will certainly have the ‘home team advantage’ when they start the season in just a few weeks,” Haney said.