On Jan. 23, the Roe Stamps Turf Field was officially opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony. Numerous faculty and students, such as President Peterson, SGA officers and CRC faculty, who pushed for construction of the new fields attended the event.
In comparison to the old field, the new turf field comes with numerous eco-friendly upgrades, and during the event, the draining system was a point of improvement that the President’s Cabinet commented on. Steve Swant explained how the new drainage system prevents rainwater from going into the sewer system as waste water.
“We have a storm water retention system under this. Beneath is a series of corrugated steel pipes which are collecting the rainwater from the field as well as the adjoining area, holding it, percolating it into the groundwater, and running it off in a measured fashion down through the basin where it will be collected elsewhere and used for other purposes.” said Steve Swant, Executive Vice President for Administration and Finance.
Swant commented that the retained water could be reused in a number of useful purposes on campus, which would be a common action on campus, yet a unique circumstance in the city of Atlanta.
“It’s a common practice for us now to try and build in at the minimum a storm water retention,” Swant said. “That would be a short term holding of water until you let it loose or like a cistern where we can reuse it for flushing toilets, irrigation or other such purposes”
The field includes safety improvements as well. Through continued use, the field had developed damages, and according to SGA, a new field was necessary.
“It’s a big deal of safety. The old field was getting to the point where it was no longer safe and simple repairs were not doing the job anymore,” said SGA Graduate President, Arren Washington. “Being able to bring in a synthetic turf as well as the lighting fixtures that would benefits players and patrons of the field was very important for us.”
Even though Tech, paid a big portion for turf fields, SGA contributed a large sum to help with the construction of the new field. Nick Picon, SGA Undergraduate President, felt that students deserved this recreational area and that their input was worth it.
“This field is used almost twenty four hours a day by students, so it was an important thing for us to fund and we had the money to it and were happy to see itncome to fruition,” said Picon. “We provided five hundred thousand dollars to the project over all, and that was a significant chunk. There were concerns, but we ran the numbers we figured we could do it. It was something that we wanted to support.”
While the attendees remained at the ceremony shortly due to the cold weather, many cabinet members thanked and congratulated each other, and the President Peterson commented on how the field was worth the wait despite the delays in construction.
“This is kind of a team effort to the institute. Student support that we received for the project was hugely important in allowing us to do it right and to do all of the things that we wanted to do,” said President Bud Peterson. “I know it was a bit of an inconvenience for the students to have the field down for a while. The weather did not help us much, but the inconvenience that the students experienced last semester will pay off for the students in the future, so I think that paying for it is a great thing.”