STILLWATER, Okla., May 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The flagship campus known for its strikingly beautiful Georgian architecture has struck a deal with the Georgia-based company known for pioneering the synthetic turf industry. Cowboy Athletic Facilities, LLC, for and on behalf of Oklahoma State University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, recently selected AstroTurf ®, whose corporate headquarters and manufacturing facilities are located in Dalton, Georgia, to provide two state-of-the-art fields at the nearly completed Sherman E. Smith Training Center on the campus in Stillwater. Installation of the artificial surfaces began May 24th with an anticipated completion date set for this summer. Ongoing progress of field construction at the Smith Center can be seen here.
The Sherman E. Smith Training Center is a multipurpose training complex which incorporates three outdoor practice fields and one indoor artificial playing surface. Two of the outdoor fields will be natural grass, and AstroTurf will install synthetic turf for the third outdoor field as well as the indoor surface. Construction began on the project in the summer of 2011, and when the center opens its doors this fall it will immediately rank as one of the finest facilities of its kind anywhere in the collegiate landscape. Eschewing the more common approaches of domes, inflatable "bubble" enclosures, or hangar-like structures, the Smith Center will blend seamlessly with the rest of the OSU campus and its modified Georgian architectural theme. The university aims at developing a modern training facility that's as aesthetically pleasing as it is functional.
The synthesis of aesthetics and functionality can also be found in AstroTurf's GameDay Grass™ 3D Xtreme turf system. In extensive testing, AstroTurf GameDay Grass systems performed more like natural grass than any other synthetic product measured. The field combines a monofilament Horseshoe™ fiber with a slit film product. The Horseshoe fiber has an Omega-shape, which is more resilient and bounces back, staying upright longer. It also reflects less light and heat. The slit film offers the ultimate in durability. It's not uncommon for these fields to withstand several years' worth of use and still hold true to form. The 3D Xtreme product will be used for both the 77,000 square foot indoor field and the 87,000 square foot outdoor practice field.
"We are thrilled to have our product chosen for such an impressive training facility as the Smith Center," said AstroTurf President Bryan Peeples. "We're honored to be partnering up with such a fine institution in this endeavor."
The complex will primarily be used by the OSU football team, which is enjoying an unprecedented string of successes under current head coach and OSU alum Mike Gundy. The school's all-time leader in coaching victories has a decorated tenure which includes a nod for Big XII Coach of the Year (2010) and both the Paul "Bear" Bryant and Eddie Robinson National Coach of the Year awards (2011). During a stretch from 2008 to 2011 that included a Big XII Championship (2011), the Cowboys were one of three BCS Conference teams with at least nine wins in each of those four seasons. The other two schools were Alabama and Oregon. With his passionate demeanor, innovative game plans and talented recruits, it's a safe bet that Coach Gundy will lead another highly competitive Cowboys squad into the upcoming fall campaign in this, his ninth season at the helm.
Safety and innovation are key factors leading AstroTurf in its campaign to develop the most advanced artificial playing surfaces on the market. A study at Michigan State University, funded by NFL Charities, found that AstroTurf 3D systems perform most like natural grass in terms of the biomechanical function of cleats penetrating and releasing properly, making AstroTurf 3D the safest option. These results are due in no small part to AstroTurf's proprietary technology, the RootZone®. It is a thatch layer of textured nylon which stabilizes the rubber infill and prevents the deep cleat penetration that can lead to some unfortunate injuries. With the ever-increasing focus on safety and player health permeating football's cultural climate from Pop Warner to the pros, engineering for safety has taken on increased significance for the team at AstroTurf.
"Here at AstroTurf, our dedication to safety as a vital component of the products we create is unparalleled," added Bryan Peeples, President of AstroTurf. "We're excited to be hosting these student-athletes on our playing surface, which is considered to be the finest synthetic surface in the world."
Along with the Gallagher-Iba Arena, Boone Pickens Stadium and the West End Zone facility, the addition of the Smith Center to OSU's storied campus may well create one of the most dynamic athletic villages in the world of collegiate athletics. It also contains quite an honorific list of namesakes, including Henry Iba, the Hall of Fame basketball coach who won multiple NCAA titles with Oklahoma State and multiple gold medals while steering the USA Men's Olympic team. T. Boone Pickens is a billionaire oilman, financier, philanthropist, and OSU alum whose gift to his alma mater remains the largest donation to an athletic program in collegiate history. Sherman E. Smith was a friend and former business partner of Pickens' who donated $20 million to his alma mater before his passing in 2011.
For athletes and sport enthusiasts, AstroTurf has redefined the way the game is played. The company offers advanced, state-of-the-art, multi-sport and specialized synthetic turf systems with proprietary engineered technologies, leveraging the industry's first vertically integrated manufacturing system. A growing number of high schools, colleges, professional sports teams and municipalities continue to select AstroTurf-branded products for their premium quality, technical superiority, and safety. To learn more, visit www.astroturf.com.