The natural turf athletic field at Antioch Community High School was no longer able to meet its intended purpose. Due to its overuse, aging of the facility, and insufficient drainage after even small rainfall events unsafe playing conditions rendered it unsuitable for use for Physical Education classes, youth sports organizations, and other anticipated user groups. Additionally, the existing 6-lane track design was no longer able to meet the needs of the High School when hosting larger track meets. As the civil engineer for Community High School District 117, GHA was awarded the contract to provide design, bidding, and construction observation services.
The project began with a detailed survey which was used to prepare concept plans that incorporated a new, state-of-the-art synthetic turf field and an 8-lane track with supporting events. Based on the expected widening of IL Rte. 173 at the south end of the existing stadium, the synthetic turf field and the track were moved 25’ north to avoid potential encroachment of the future project. Once the District approved the concept plan, GHA was authorized to complete final engineering. The plans were then used to obtain all necessary permits and approvals and to complete the bidding process.
GHA also oversaw all phases of the construction, including layout and full-time resident engineering. The construction phase began with removal of the existing natural turf athletic field, the surrounding 6-lane track, drainage structures, and the impervious area. The site was then mass graded, with approximately 6,500 Cubic Yards (CY) of earth excavated. Following excavation, a total of 3,200 linear feet of new storm sewer was installed, including under the field to support the new drainage system. After 2,600 CY of unsuitable material was removed, the north detention storage area was graded, compacted, and restored. Installation of the perimeter curb, stone base for the synthetic turf and stone for the new track was then completed. Paving was completed and then the synthetic turf field was installed, followed by the finish for the track.
Despite wet weather during construction, the $2.1 million project was completed on-budget and one week ahead of schedule in early September 2015. Since then, Antioch Community High School has enjoyed multiple seasons of activity at their new multi-sport facility, utilized by school and community groups.