Harvesters to start season on revamped field

A bulldozer removes dirt from the Eastfield Baseball field during construction on July 22.

RORY MOORE/THE ET CETERA

A bulldozer removes dirt from the Eastfield Baseball field during construction on July 22.

MANNY WILLIS, Staff writer

The Eastfield Harvesters are set to unveil their renovated artificial turf field and other upgraded features this season after a summer of construction.

The $2 million project is scheduled to be completed at the end of September, in time for the Harvesters to start season training. The new surface will strip away the traditional grass field, along with implementing new bleachers and metal batting cages.

“We did a field study, a 53-page case study, to see if this was going to be needed,” Eastfield facilities director Adam Qualkenbush said. “Across the board, it checked the boxes for us in making the decision. We saw more advantages to this such as maintenance, costs, longevity and safety. It was a no-brainer, to be honest.”

Eastfield’s new field will have the same dimensions but is going through an extensive reconstruction including the addition of a subterranean drainage system as well as multiple layers of compacted gravel.

The soil goes through a conditioning process that regulates the moisture levels under the turf system. This moisture control helps prevent the surface from shifting due to moisture expansion and contraction.

“A turf field can actually reduce injury and the severity of them. High schools are beginning to use them so it would help us in recruiting players,” head coach Michael Martin said. “It is able to last a lot longer without needing too much maintenance, unlike grass, and on the plus side it is also an eco-friendly option that would benefit the environment.”

The company managing the project is Field-Turf, who Dallas College hired for the first time for this project. They are known to have worked on schools such as Texas Tech, University of Texas at Austin, Louisiana Tech and more.

“I’ve been to some of these fields and seen their work, and they have done outstanding,” Martin said. “I’m happy that Qualkenbush and the other facility directors had the same vision and helped push to get this done this summer. There is no doubt that this will benefit us.”