University of Massachusetts – Lowell
Athletic Campus Design, Turf Replacement and Track Renovation
2014 American Sports Builders Association Distinguished Multi-Field Facility
In May 2013, The University of Massachusetts Lowell announced that effective 2014, their athletic program would join the NCAA Division 1 ranks. This decision had far reaching implications for the standards to be met at each of the UMASS Lowell facilities, necessitating the complete redevelopment of several key facilities on a fast track basis. UMASS Lowell engaged Gale Associates, Inc. to design and administer complete reconstruction of each of its outdoor competition venues.
The resultant project included the complete reconstruction of two rectangular fields, the renovation of the 400 meter track and field facility, and the development of two new recreational fields. In their directive, the University stressed that each venue was to be completed expeditiously and in an environmentally-sustainable manner.
The field hockey field to host the Riverhawks NCAA Div II national champions was designed as an Astroturf type nylon field in bright blue. The soccer pitch was converted from natural grass to along pile infilled synthetic turf surface. The recreation field developed on the campus center lawn reused the three-year old infilled turf carpet removed from the field hockey complex; the first such reuse of an entire field. Finally, an abandoned parking facility was remediated for the development of a new natural turf multi-purpose rectangular field using the top soils removed from the reconstruction of the soccer pitch. In short, the project included four very different field constructions, two of which reused materials from the others. In a short six months UMASS Lowell completely redeveloped its outdoor athletic complex and gained NCAA Div I compliance in an innovative, environmentally-sustainable, and cost-effective manner.