Bremen High School District 228 installed four artificial turf fields this summer as part of an ongoing project to renovate and improve facilities at Bremen, Tinley Park, Hillcrest, and Oak Forest High Schools. Each artificial turf field was designed to include a Brock ShockPad/14 layer to provide student athletes with the safest surface available.
Eric Washington, Athletic Director at Bremen High School, explained, “it’s all about the safety of our student athletes. We want to make sure they remain injury free and make it a great experience for them.” Protecting students from concussions was a huge concern for the district. Bremen’s soccer coach recalled several instances last season where students were forced to miss classes and games due to concussions. The team hopes the safety features and performance of the new fields will provide a competitive advantage in the upcoming season.
Safety isn’t the only benefit of the renovation. The new artificial turf fields will also help solve the storm water management issue that has troubled the district for several years. The schools frequently struggled with flooding and ponding, often brought on by heavy rainfall. The new fields feature underground storm detention vaults integrated with the stone layer of the turf. This design facilitates the drainage of the athletic surface and surrounding areas.
“This means everything to the community. I was born and raised in this district, and we take ownership in our schools.” said Community Relations Coordinator, Lori DeVos.
“It’s something we probably couldn’t have visualized a couple of years ago, and we are so excited to be able to do it now.” The fields will be heavily used by the sports teams, the marching band, and physical educations classes, DeVos explained. Unlike natural grass, the artificial fields can withstand intense use year-round and in variable weather conditions.
Tom Cunniff, from Midwest Sport Turf Systems, applauded the effort put into the project by the district, administrative team, and school principals. Cunniff explained the project “wasn’t just installing a turf, it was installing a tradition.” The Brock ShockPads can be reused for several turf cycles, and will leave a legacy of protections and performance for generations of students in the Bremen School District.