BELTON, Texas, March 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The oldest continuously operating college in Texas is in the midst of a modern makeover. The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor recently selected a state-of-the-art AstroTurf® field for the new football stadium that is headlining a massive renovation project. Installation of the artificial surface will follow the completion of stadium construction this spring in anticipation of a grand opening for the Division III powerhouse's fall kickoff.
The stadium is a $50 million project designed by the architectural firm Populous and being erected by Turner Construction. The world-renowned innovators at Populous have a prolific catalogue of work including London's 2012 Olympic Stadium, Soccer City in Johannesburg (host of the 2010 World Cup), and the revolutionary Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore. Turner Construction previously collaborated with Populous on construction of the new Yankee Stadium in New York, and has its own impressive resume that includes major airports, hospitals, and other landmark buildings including Cleveland's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. The entire floor of the stadium falls under the purview of regional giant Texas Sports Builders. Their award-winning team will handle construction of the sub base and associated drainage, warning track, and installation of the AstroTurf field.
"We are honored to be working in conjunction with these remarkable companies," said AstroTurf President Bryan Peeples. "At the same time, we feel that our product is the finest synthetic playing surface in the world. Nothing less would be appropriate for a project of this magnitude or the caliber of young men who'll be playing on it."
The young men he's referring to are the Division III juggernaut UMHB football team. The Crusaders are eight-time defending American Southwest Conference champions and have won or shared in 10 of the last 11 ASC titles. Seven-time ASC Coach of the Year honoree Pete Fredenburg looks to build upon his successful 15 year run at the helm when he leads The Cru - as they're affectionately known in Belton - onto the field of their new stadium for the first time in the home opener against Wesley College on September 21st.
The field they'll be stepping onto is AstroTurf's GameDay Grass™ 3DH. The field utilizes AstroTurf's monofilament Horseshoe™ fiber, an Omega-shaped fiber which is more resilient and bounces back, staying upright longer. It also reflects less light and heat. Speed, performance, safety, and aesthetics are the GameDay Grass hallmarks, making it a signature surface for AstroTurf.
To go along with the new stadium, the signature styling of The Cru has been revamped in the form of a new set of logos designed by the team at Woodward Creative Group and unveiled in February. The re-branding effort strikes a balance between the honor and tradition of a university whose college charter was issued in 1845 - by the Republic of Texas - and the powerful force their football program, which joined the NCAA in 1998, has become. It's all part of comprehensive launch aimed at propelling the athletic department forward that has included new logos, a new stadium, and last September's dedication of the Cummins Field House, one of the finest football training facilities in the country.
The blending of tradition and innovation is a thematic quality familiar to the team at AstroTurf. The originators of the synthetic turf trade have maintained the balance of the industry's oldest and most recognizable brand name while developing next generation products that propel the industry forward. A vital component of the GameDay Grass system is the RootZone®, a proprietary technology invented, patented, and improved upon by AstroTurf. It is an infill stabilization system comprised of a thatch layer of textured nylon that radically reduces both infill migration and deep cleat penetration - contributing to a faster, more consistent playing surface with a cleaner look. But perhaps most importantly, the RootZone complements the GameDay Grass 3D engineering to create a synthetic turf system that is proven by independent studies to be much safer than competing products.
"When you're committed to an undertaking of this magnitude, you want to put it in the hands of the best people," said UMHB Vice President of Athletics Randy Mann. "We feel confident in our choice to go with an AstroTurf field in our new stadium because of their talented team and the unrivaled quality of their synthetic turf systems."
The stadium will have a seating capacity of 10,000 spectators with room for future expansion if needed. The project will feature an innovative design in which the stadium will be built in conjunction with a new Student Union Building, which will anchor the visitors' side of the stadium. Banquet rooms and student dining areas in the SUB will be strategically placed to incorporate views of the stadium interior to provide a one-of-a-kind experience for students and visitors to the campus. It's all part of an effort to invigorate campus life at the university. Construction is currently in progress and UMHB has even set up 24 hour camera to follow the stadium build live.
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.