Merchant Taylor’s get the Pro treatment

Lucy Nichollsin Industry News

Yet another high class facility has been completed for the prestigious Merchant Taylor's School in Middlesex by Buckinghamshire based sports contractor Agripower.

After successfully building a new six lane Herculan running track together with natural wickets, outfields and a new 1st team rugby pitch, Agripower were selected to upgrade an existing sand filled pitch to an all-new Tiger Turf Evo pro system. The design brief comprised of the replacement surface, new macadam paths, re-construction of the 50 x 6m viewing area, full irrigation system and replacement kick boards to the fence which was carried out during April and May this year.

The works were overseen by David Rhodes of Traction Sports who commented: "I am very pleased with the overall result. Agripower has worked tirelessly through adverse weather conditions to achieve a high quality finish and the end result which is something we should all be very proud of".

This refurbishment project saw another outing for Agripower's unique Synthetic Turf Recycler (STR) machine that lifts the carpet and rolls it whilst removing the sand, all in one operation. The STR again proved to be invaluable at the site when works started, ensuring that the surface was protected and guaranteed that the school could re-use the shock-pad, saving not only time and excessive material wastage, but more importantly money. Machines currently available on the market along with traditional methods often used by other contractors offer considerable risk to the integrity of the shock-pad and are largely dependent on the skill of the operator using equipment not specifically designed for the task at hand.

The machine is capable of removing 85-95% of the sand content when working in dry conditions, massively reducing the off-site haulage. All sand removed can then be used to top dress adjacent sports fields.

A TigerTurf Evo Pro Series (a version of Water Efficient TigerTurf WETT), which is TigerTurf's elite hockey product, was chosen to ensure that as well as top class hockey, a multitude of sports could all be played on the one surface.

A new pop-up sprinkler system was also installed by contractors P.S & D.E Graham, Leicestershire. The company has over 20 years' experience of irrigation design, supply and installation throughout the UK and abroad.

Whilst it may be unusual for some to install an irrigation system to a sand-dressed surface, the school specified that they wanted the surface to provide a consistently fast pace at all times, whilst reducing the amount of water needed compared to a water-based surface. This TigerTurf surface is FIH accredited when fitted with a rubber shock pad and ensures water requirement is reduced. The special fibres remain wet for longer periods, whilst the sand layer supports the fibres in strength and retains more moisture within the system. For the player the game is enhanced and for the owner money is saved.

Mark Swatton, Project Manager at Agripower, praised his staff for their 'commitment and continued perseverance in working through some particularly unpleasant weather, the finished job looks fantastic and we are very pleased with the outcome'.
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