Contractor to be honored at international CONEXPO-CON/AGG equipment exposition for making a significant difference for the community’s quality of life
For almost 100 years, Hart Park has been a vital part of the high quality of life enjoyed by Wauwatosa residents. And when the Common Council approved funds for athletic field upgrades, the city continued its proud tradition of maintaining that high quality of life through a construction project that met and exceeded all expectations.
Since construction of the new field, one of the scholastic tenants, Marquette University High School, completed an undefeated football season culminating in a state Division I championship. Although the field was undoubtedly not the only reason for the championship season, most would agree that high-caliber athletic facilities are a boost to performance on the field as well as to municipal pride. Such facilities also offer significant benefits to children and parents by providing safe and dependable locations for recreation.
Before construction, the tired old football field had been a clay-based natural turf field that was “loved to death.” Originally, five high schools and one semiprofessional football team used Hart Park as their home field. The field suffered from overuse and in recent years the semi-pro team and three of the high school teams had left for better fields.
Park Construction Upgrades Are Part of Flood Control
Meanwhile, the entire park was under construction as part of a flood control project. Between the loss of major tenants and the constant construction taking place, the park was being used less and less frequently by residents. The City of Wauwatosa decided to upgrade the field and install artificial turf in an effort to restore the park as a family destination and a positive contributor to Wauwatosa’s quality of life.
The city’s commitment to quality required that the project include one absolutely essential ingredient: superb construction plans and execution. And Wauwatosa found a contractor that understood what the city wanted.
Schneider Excavating landed the job because of its experience and use of current technology, which ensured the quality results all the stakeholders in the field wanted.
“We’ve actually established ourselves as being a precision fine-grading contractor,” said Steve Ristow, president of Schneider Excavating, Lannon, Wisconsin, “which is how we won the bid for this sports field project.”
Schneider uses sophisticated GPS machine control that follows a digital plan it prepares. The 3D digital model, with the help of the GPS satellite signal, literally controls the position of the construction machine’s blade that cuts and pushes the earth to a smooth grade. Several different layers needed to be leveled and built before the artificial turf could be installed to the precise grade specified by the city’s engineers.
Construction Project Results in Safer, Better Ball Field
With the help of GPS and the digital model, Schneider also added a layer of limestone as a leveling and stabilizing course. A water-permeable, polyethylene fabric membrane was laid down after the subgrade was completed.
“Since the field is a free-draining design, we placed drain tiles on the membrane,” Ristow states. “The water drains to the perimeter of the field, eliminating standing water and the damage it can cause.”
Eight inches of free-draining, engineered fill—a mixture of crushed limestone and sand—was added next.
“The project required extremely tight grade tolerances before the $400,000 artificial turf was laid,” says Ristow. “The surface needed to be extremely flat and level.”
While these construction details may be complex, the result is not: a playing field that is safer and more enjoyable to use.
The Hart Park field (and entire athletic complex construction project), represents a true cooperative effort between the city and its residents. From inception to completion, city staff, consultants, general contractors, sub-contractors, tenants, and elected officials collaborated closely to bring this project together in less than twelve months without interrupting a football season.
The new, well-constructed field - permanently lined for soccer, field hockey, and lacrosse as well as football has renewed community interest in the park and is the field of choice for many sports teams.
The sports field provides real value to Wauwatosa and its neighboring communities, value brought to the community by precision construction projects.
For contributions to our quality of life, Schneider Excavating will be recognized at North America’s largest construction equipment trade show, CONEXPO-CON/AGG. A company representative and one guest will receive a free trip to the show in Las Vegas in March 2014.
At CONEXPO-CON/AGG, they will see all the innovative new equipment that will continue to support their work for better living brought to you by the men and women of the construction industries.
CONEXPO-CON/AGG is the international gathering place in North America for the construction industries. The event features exhibits of the latest technologies and innovations in equipment, products and services plus extensive industry-targeted education. The next CONEXPO-CON/AGG is March 4-8, 2014 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, USA. More than 100,000 attendees are expected. For more information about CONEXPO-CON/AGG, visit www.conexpoconagg.com.