Facility Profile - April 2011
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Turf: Answered Prayers

Rockhurst High School in Kansas City, Mo.

By Laura Pennino


MDH Turf, a new subsidiary created in 2010 by McAnany Construction of Shawnee, Kan., proved to be the right choice. Baum and his staff felt that McAnany and MDH Turf had the knowledge, experience and relationships to enable Rockhurst High School to upgrade the new field within the specified timeframe, and also offered a progressive recycling solution that would reduce costs by approximately 20 percent. Ed Huggins, vice president responsible for athletic fields and golf course renovation with MDH and McAnany Construction, served as the project manager.

Using a design-build approach that is often preferable among general contractors, MDH Turf engaged Vance Rzepka, architect and founder of VSR Design of Overland Park, Kan., to assist with the field design and Bob Aurich, regional sales manager for TigerSports Americas Inc., to assist with supplying high-quality synthetic turf.

"The design-build option was the best and fastest way to satisfy the project requirements for Rockhurst High School," Huggins said. "Because MDH was able to choose the architect, we were in a solid position to effectively manage the timeline, field design, work crews, quality and budget."

The project kicked off on July 23 and was completed on Aug. 9—just 17 days. Executing what it now calls The Extreme Turf Makeover, MDH employed three shifts of crew members for several consecutive days to meet the project schedule.

Rzepka worked closely with MDH to evaluate and correct the grading of the field. He noted that the old field had a crown on one end that was sloped from the 30-yard line to the back of the end zone. He added that the ability to make the crown uniform across the entire length of the field was limited by the sub-grade and drainage rock thickness. Another level of complexity that Rzepka and the team addressed was the addition of perimeter netting to allow lacrosse practice during track practices.

"The tight timeframe for the project required that all parties, starting with the owner, had to be in sync during both the design and construction phases. Everyone on the team understood the issues and, as a team, we identified potential obstacles in the event one was uncovered during the renovation process. Each team member committed to being available nearly 24/7 once demolition and construction began. Having Delbert Conrad on site on behalf of the school with the ability to make decisions quickly was one of the critical factors in our collective ability to see this project to completion so quickly," Rzepka said.