Pascagoula-Gautier (TX) ISD’s two stadiums are getting $3.4 million in upgrades, which include switching from natural grass to artificial turf with 100% organic infill from Hellas Construction.
“Playability is what made us decide to replace the natural grass with the synthetic turf. Accessibility too,” said PGISD Athletic Director Greg Freeman. “Rain or shine, we can play our games or have as many different activities as we need to be playing on the field, without worry.”
Gautier’s Vaughan Wallace Stadium was just completed and is now sporting a new two-toned green Matrix® Turf with Helix technology field with Geo Plus® Infill and debuts a new logo for the team with the opening of the stadium. “It’s a special “G,” with an alligator threading throughout the logo. It will be on the helmets too,” said Freeman.
Pascagoula’s Dutch Binion stadium is still under construction but will have the same two-tone green turf with organic infill and shock pad, with a new blue x1000 epiQ® Tracks system. “The Binion Stadium field will feature their unique ‘P’ logo,” Freeman said.
Hellas Project Manager Kyle Mahlan said, “They are really excited to get the new turf and new blue track to bring the facilities up to match their premier weightlifting facilities. It gives me a great sense of pride knowing we are building these kids and their communities facilities that they can be proud of and will help them play more games and participate in more sports and activities.”
The district also chose to go with organic infill. “It was mostly about temperature,” said Freeman. “We heard that the Geo Plus was cooler and that when the rubber pellets heat up they can get really hot. That was a concern.” He said they talked with officials at Clinton High School, where Hellas had installed its organic Geo Plus® infill and they were very happy to share their feedback. “They said it was cooler. They even did their own unscientific test by taking off their shoes and walking on the synthetic turf and then the natural grass, and they said the synthetic turf felt cooler,” he said. They are very happy with the infill,” Freeman said.
The Geo Plus infill, exclusive to Hellas Construction, is made with cork and coconut fibers. It has optimal shock absorption, excellent traction in all weather conditions. It is 100% organic and recyclable and can be reused for agricultural or gardening purposes at the end of a field’s life. This odorless infill doesn’t retain heat, but instead retains moisture, using it to cool the surface temperature of the field, similar to how sweat cools the skin on a person’s body. Surface temperatures on a field will be up to 40 degrees cooler than a regular synthetic turf field with the black crumb rubber.
The Matrix Turf with Helix Technology that PGISD selected for their fields is the same turf installed at AT&T Stadium and The Star – the World Headquarters of the Dallas Cowboys. It’s the most resilient, stable, and durable monofilament fiber turf on the market. The product’s quality, performance, and longevity are unmatchable. After over 10 years on the market, every installation of Matrix Turf has been proven without failure.
Hellas Business Development Manager, Amy Champion said, “We are thrilled to be Pascagoula School District’s partner on this project.” She said, “This school district has a rich athletic history. Both of these schools have successful football, soccer, and track programs that compete in the championships every year.” Champion said, “We are proud to be their field and track provider.”
The first game will be around August 19th. “They are ahead of schedule, right now,” Freeman said. “We are excitedly awaiting the end result.”