An upgrade to a regional ground can make or break a local community and McMahons Kenn Martin certainly understands that.
Kenn is the project manager for the sports fields division at McMahons and recently undertook a small construction project in regional Victoria.
Russell Square is a local council sports field in Ballarat that is utilised for cricket, soccer and touch football.
Until McMahons reconstruction of the ground, Kenn says it was what you would refer to as “a third tier ground.”
“It had no irrigation, no drainage, it was just dead.
“It was dry, dead grass during summer, and it turned to slop during winter.”
The council put the project out to tender and McMahons won the contract to undertake the work.
Mark Powell the manager of major projects at the City of Ballarat says “the City of Ballarat has been pleased with McMahons work at the Russell Square Reserve.
“They showed good attention to detail in a complicated partial re-levelling and resurfacing job.”
The design had gone out to an irrigation consultant, who designed the drainage and irrigation plan.
Kenn says one of the main issues with field was that it had a huge slope on it, but because of budgetary constraints they couldn’t actually level out the whole thing.
Instead, they levelled out two small areas, which was 200 cubic metres of fill where the cricket pitches went in.
Kenn commenced on the project towards the end of February this year.
“I had been in Sydney and when I came back, the preliminaries for this project had already been started, so I took it over for the cut and fill, irrigation and drainage.
“With the drainage, we set it out according to the design.
“There was a main collector drain installed with a series of pits and then a 100mL ag drain running every seven and a half metres across the field for all the ag lines to pick up.
“At the same time that was being undertaken we put in the main irrigation line around the outside of the field which is a 90mL feed.
“Then once that was in we teed in all the irrigation valves from there.
“The cut and fill component was also being done at the same time which was only small.”
Kenn says one of the things the local cricket club was really pushing for was a turf wicket, because that area of Ballarat didn’t have one.
While the formation of the wicket wasn’t actually part of McMahons work, it is going to be undertaken by the club under their own banner.
“The council didn’t really want to put it in because of the cost and also the maintenance factor, so I think they said they would set it up and then the club could do it themselves.”
There are now two wickets at Russell Square; a turf one for seniors and then a junior one which is much smaller and made of synthetic grass.
Kenn says the improvements to the ground will really be felt in spring, when the couch surface is properly established and it can be played on.
The 7500 metres of couch was all instant turf.
In the original plan the ground was going to be Kikuyu but the cricket club pushed for couch to enable to them to create a better playing surface.
Kenn says it was a satisfying project to do because even though it was a small project, at the end of the day will make a huge impact on the local facility.
Article courtesy of turfmate – www.turfmate.com.au