The field turf inside the Indoor Practice Facility on the University of Wyoming campus was starting to show its age.
So UW did more than give it a facelift — it was completely replaced.
The process — which normally takes between 20 and 25 days — could be completed late this week or early next.
The field was laid during the original construction of the IPF in 2007, meaning the school has had almost 11 years out of the turf.
“Eight to 10 years is what (the manufacturers) usually say what these turf surfaces last,” said Tyson Drew, UW associate athletics director for facility operations and event management. “Since this was an indoor field that didn’t deal with the freeze and thaw each season and the sun exposure, we were able to get almost 11 years out of it.”
The cost to replace the turf will be around $368,000 and will be the same playing surface as War Memorial Stadium, right down to the Steamboat logo at midfield and the numbering.
Some of the removed turf was donated to Cowboy Baseball Field for its batting cages, and the rest will be removed by the installing company.
Drew said more turf would be donated, but the rolls are so heavy they can only be moved by a large forklift.
The process of resurfacing the IPF started nearly three years ago, Drew said. First it had to be approved financially, then finding a company to do the work and finding a spot on the calendar to do the work.
“We needed to figure out the best window to do it because the IPF is booked from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. most days when the college is in session,” Drew said. “The month of May seemed to be the best time because you’re post-spring football practice, campus recreation doesn’t use the facility as much, and football camps don’t start until June.”
The school is under a hard deadline to get the facility ready, with UW summer football camps starting June 1.
The process of tearing up the field started May 7, with the new field completely laid out by late last week. Work now is being done to cut in hash marks and numbers for the field, as well as the log and soccer lines.
“This is what takes up the most time, with so much detail work being done,” Drew said.
Once that work is completed, rubber pellets and sand will be added, with the final step being grooming and leveling of the field.
That can be an issue sometimes with outdoor fields due to changes in the foundation. Drew said there have been no such issues with the IPF, and he expects the process to be complete early next week.
So what about the War Memorial Stadium surface? Drew said the current turf is about halfway through its life expectancy.
“The sun is probably the worst thing for an outdoor turf in just continually working to damage the field,” he said. “In the winter, we do plow our field for football games and practice when we have snow. That adds quite a bit of wear and tear on the field as well.”
Drew added the pellets and sand are replaced on a regular basis.
“Whenever we feel like we need rubber added to the field, we’ll contact FieldTurf, and they’ll dump a few pallets of pellets on the field for us,” he said. “The last time we’ve done that was the summer before last, where we laid eight sacks of pellets.”