In partnership with local park districts and organizations, six high schools in Township High School District 214 received funding to replace their current athletic fields with synthetic turf stadiums. As part of the agreements, the stadiums were to be used for high school programs and athletics, as well as park district and community programs.
In 2011, Wheeling and John Hersey High Schools received funding from their respective park districts to convert their natural grass stadiums to synthetic turf.
The project wasn’t approved to begin until the spring season and required EEA to design and permit the project for both schools in record time for completion before the scheduled games in late summer. To expedite the process, the turf contract was separated from the field construction and bid separately through a purchasing cooperative. This unique tactic locked in a competitive price based on regional averages—without the time-consuming bid process.
In addition to time constraints, permitting challenges included providing detention through the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRDGC) to utilize new underground storage tanks, existing dry-bottom basins, and parking lot surfaces. At Hersey High School, a campus-wide detention deficit was discovered during the design process and corrective measures were incorporated into the new project. Extensive coordination was required between the Village of Arlington Heights and the MWRDGC to devise a solution that would satisfy all parties.
EEA was asked aggain in 2012 to assist with the design of three additional synthetic turf fields at Buffalo Grove, Rolling Meadows and Prospect High Schools. Following similar timelines as in 2011, EEA developed project phases and worked to speed up the permitting process to ensure the project’s success. During this time, EEA also assisted with basin improvements at Hersey High School.
In 2013 EEA worked with District 214 to design and install a synthetic turf field at the Forest View Educational Center. The field functioned as both a high school and college site for St. Viator High School and Robert Morris University.