It’s been nearly 14 years since Wickwire Field was resurfaced.
Wickwire Field is open more than 80 hours per week and sees over 3,000 hours of use in scheduled programming each year through sports like soccer, ultimate frisbee, football, field hockey, lacrosse and rugby. It is also a space where students go for general recreational activities in the spring and fall.
“Dalhousie students are the greatest users of Wickwire Field,” says Kathie Wheadon, Director of Facility and Business Services with the Department of Athletics and Recreation. “It’s a favourite drop-in venue for students to recreate and relieve academic stress. Its also a valuable resource in the community and sports organizations within the HRM.”
With so much activity, its not surprising the existing surface, which was installed in 2007, had become compacted with turf fibres splitting and fraying, indicating the end of their life span. It was also subject to noticeable water pooling – all of which is cause for concern for user safety.
Originally scheduled to begin last year in April 2020, the tender to resurface the field was awarded but the work was put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The project is now back on track and work is already underway that will see the removal and replacement of the artificial turf including drainage testing, installation of new synthetic turf field and infill, new field rubber edging, and removal of the existing retaining wall and slope re-grading. Pending weather delays, the work should be completed in June.
“Our student-athletes and coaching staff have been anxiously awaiting the resurfacing of the field,” says associate athletic director and women’s soccer head coach Cindy Tye. “We’re looking forward to having a more friendly surface to train on daily and a place we can be proud to play while representing Dalhousie.”
FieldTurf’s latest fibre, CORE, will be used to resurface the field. CORE is a rigid monofilament fibre with a reinforced core designed to facilitate optimal durability, realistic play, and positive player safety for the longest possible duration while a surface is in use.
The stand-out characteristic of the product is the fibre’s ability to stay upright much longer over the life of the field, rather than beginning to fold over after significant use which is seen in other turf systems. This has a positive impact on the way players and balls interact with the surface, creating natural conditions for most of the field’s life. The estimated life span is roughly 15 years.
Wickwire Field’s resurfacing will also include a new layout to maximize space for its student users.
“The adjustment to the field layout gives us the opportunity to provide more field availability for both our intramural and sport club programs,” says Campus Recreation Coordinator Chris Keough. “The new turf will also enhance the playing experiences for both.”
Located on South Street across from Dalplex, Wickwire Field is Dalhousie's main outdoor sport facility, measuring 200x90 yards and hosts full-size soccer and football fields, plus three 78x60 yard cross-field practice areas. It has grandstand seating for 1200, an electronic scoreboard and outdoor lighting to allow for evening use.
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