New Turf and Lighting for Spratt Sports Complex
The four fields that make up the Spratt Sports Complex on Jewell's campus will receive a significant upgrade with the addition of synthetic turf and lighting. The project, which will include the baseball and softball facilities along with two multipurpose fields, will begin immediately with anticipated completion in spring 2022.
The project is part of a major investment by the College and Board of Trustees in infrastructure, including athletics facilities, and connects to long-term strategic plans as turf fields will significantly decrease the annual maintenance costs of what is currently nearly 7.5 acres of natural grass as well as create additional revenue for the College through use by outside groups.
"The addition of these fields will enhance the overall experience of the students in those sports by allowing them to play games as scheduled and at times that don't conflict with classes," said Director of Athletics Tom Eisenhauer, '06. "Reducing the time our coaches and athletes currently spend maintaining the fields will allow them more time to focus on their academics and training for their sport. This project will also have a significant, positive impact for our other teams as well, as the additional turf space will decompress use and programming on Norris Patterson Field in Greene Stadium."
For baseball, Fred Flook Field will receive a full conversion of the playing surface, which will include a new configuration and design along with new fencing and LED lighting. Softball will also receive a full surface conversion of Cardinal Field and include the addition of LED lighting, a first at both facilities. Both fields will be completed with Double Play FieldTurf, which is designed specifically for baseball and softball with the intention to create the best results of the ball-surface interaction, speed and consistency. The Oregon State, Texas Tech, Notre Dame and the Tennessee baseball programs are among some of the other institutions that utilize this surface.
Additionally, the two current grass practice fields will be outfitted with turf and LED lighting and will include markings for soccer and other field sports. These facilities will be completed with Prestige XT FieldTurf which is one of the most trusted materials in the United States as the slit-film fiber is crafted to maximize durability and safety.
"These fields compliment The Link Project, the new wellness and fitness structure in the final stages of design, as we follow through on our commitment to increase opportunities for student, alumni and community engagement as athletes, spectators and recreationally," said Eisenhauer. "Without a doubt, the combination of these fields and The Link will position our teams for competitive success in the conference and nationally."
The College has signed an agreement with Mammoth Sports Construction to provide the materials and labor for the project. Mammoth, a company based in Meridan, Kansas, has installed more than 350 turf fields, working with some of the highest-level sport organizations in the United States, including the Detroit Lions, New England Patriots, Ohio State, Nebraska and Michigan State, among many others.
"We are thrilled to build new top of the line fields for Cardinal student-athletes and fans," said Mammoth President Jake Farrant. "One of Mammoth's values is to use our strength for service, and we are proud to serve the William Jewell community through our strengths. This project also showcases our commitment to the Great Lakes Valley Conference, of which we are a proud partner."
Eisenhauer echoed Farrant's excitement about the partnership, saying "We are so pleased to be partnering with Mammoth Sports Construction on this project. Their track record speaks for itself and their attention to detail has really helped us get where we are today. I can't thank President MacLeod Walls, the Cabinet and the Board of Trustees enough for their support of and commitment to Jewell Athletics."
The upgrade will not only benefit current and future student-athletes but also the Liberty and Kansas City communities as the fields will be available for rental opportunities. Weather pending, the project is expected to be completed during the 2022 spring seasons.