Facility Profile - November 2006
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One Step Ahead

Pinelands Sports Center in Southampton, N.J.

By Daniela Bloch

hen asked what sets the Pinelands Sports Center apart from others of its kind, Craig Scott, vice president of marketing and sales at Universal Fabric Structures Inc., laughed somewhat playfully before responding, "We did it."

Jokes aside, Scott explained that the facility stands out because of its innovative technologies and unique structure, both of which Universal played a part in.

And it all seems to have come together.

Finished in summer 2005, the Pinelands Sports Center offers 33,000 square feet of multisport space. Its synthetic turf field, the same as that used by the Philadelphia Eagles and other professional and college sports teams, helps reduce injuries to facility users and caters to various sports-field needs. Accordingly, team field sports like soccer, softball, field hockey, lacrosse and football all take place on the field.

The center also offers instructional clinics. Even the marching band, cheerleaders, senior citizens and summer campers benefit from the new center.

"The structure itself provides a great environment, conducive to playing multiple sports," Scott said. "But it's also so great because of the people committed to it in the community there. Their mission is to support the community, and they are a committed, passionate people."

Netting around the field protects viewers and players alike, while dividers permit field segmentation that yields smaller and concurrent games or practices.

In addition to sports fields, the facility houses 2,016 square feet for restrooms, a concession area, a party room and an office. The concession area offers snacks, soft drinks and an array of sports beverages.

Creating this athletic haven did require some strategy. The structure of the new building needed to combine an existing brick and stucco facility in a way that let users enjoy the field while maintaining easy access to clubhouse amenities.

"It didn't really pose a challenge," Scott said, "but combining the interface with the existing building was unique."

Having to construct a recreational facility was in and of itself unique. According to Alex Samuelian, co-owner of the center, the community required recreational space that simply was not there.