Sports

After Decade-Plus of Heavy Use, Summit High School's Stadium Field Receiving New Turf Playing Surface

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The previous surface, which was in place 12 years, has been removed. Credits: Greg Elliott / TAPinto Summit
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The new turf is on site. Credits: Greg Elliott / TAPinto Summit
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The new surface will be rolled out for installation in the next week. Credits: Greg Elliott / TAPinto Summit
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Summit High School Football will be the first team to take the new field. Credits: Greg Elliott / TAPinto Summit
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SUMMIT, NJ - Investors Bank Field is getting a makeover.

The City is three-weeks into a six-week project to install new artificial turf on the main / lower stadium field at Tatlock Park, replacing the old surface which was 12 years old.

“The life expectancy for turf is about 10 years. Our particular turf was older than that, and used extensively,” said Director of Community Programs Judith Leblein Josephs who, along with the recently-retired Summit High School Athletic Director Robert Lockhart and several employees from the Public Works Department, conducted research for several years prior to the start of the project.

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“We went and looked at several different products in several different stages of their lives. Ultimately, we concluded that the Desso product was the best fit,” said Josephs, referring to the manufacturer of the turf, Desso Sports Systems Company. The Desso turf was selected for its split film technology, a new technique that creates more durable artificial blades and is the “closest thing to natural grass,” Josephs added. The new artificial turf is a professional level turf, the first of its kind to be installed at a high school field.

The project, with a projected cost of $635,293, also includes new soccer goals and football goal posts, as well as an improved safety netting. The work will be performed by Elite Synthetic Surfaces of Williston Park, NY. The design for the project was done by Tom Miller of Premier Product Development of Moorestown, the design firm that was responsible for the four new lighted tennis courts also found at Tatlock Park.

The project is being funded through three sources: The City of Summit Capital Budget, the Union County Kids Recreation Trust Fund Grant, and the Field Restoration Program.

Investors Bank Field is also slated for a renovation of the current bleachers and press box. That work is expected to begin following the Summit High School Football Season. Bids are currently being sought for a new sound system for the field for this season.

The construction does create a few logistical issues. The track surrounding the turf will be closed until the completion of the project. Sports teams also have to find other fields where they can hold practices. Even so, reaction to the project has generally been positive.

“We’ve been using alternative fields. As long as we have communication between the coaches, everything works out,” Summit High School Football head coach Kevin Kostibos said. “My players are really excited. They can’t wait to see what it looks like and be the first team to play on it.”

Summit High School Boys Lacrosse Head Coach Jim Davidson agreed.

“Our turf had some great years, but we are at the point right now where the project is well-needed,” Davidson said.

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