CONCORD, N.C. – The finishing touches are being put on the new field turf at Central Cabarrus High School and the new surface is expected to be finished before midnight Friday night.

“Our goal with the new field is to enhance the pride in our school,” said Central Cabarrus Athletic Director Kevin Bryant. “With the Shaw Sports Turf surface we get the performance of a world-class field, but we also get the economic benefits of lower maintenance costs and the potential for additional revenue streams through tournaments and other events.”

Shaw Sports Turf is the manufacturer of the turf, while Medallion Athletics Products is doing the installation.

Four Central Cabarrus football players have also gotten summer jobs working on the project with Medallion: Josh Stewart, Riley McGee, Jared Huneycutt and Dayton Heredia.

The synthetic surface is the company’s Momentum 41 system, which is designed for heavy use. It will be the first such field surface in Cabarrus County.

Workers were securing the Central Cabarrus logo at midfield Thursday and were scheduled to start adding rubberized pellets and sand into the surface, which make it softer and give it a feel of playing on a traditional grass field.

The durability of the surface is one of the attractive features for the Vikings. The field will be used by the football and soccer teams along with the marching band. Lacrosse can also be played on the field.

“Our natural grass field couldn’t withstand the pressure of that amount of play,” Bryant said. “With the new field we can do so much more. In the past, our field has hosted about 20,000 people per year. With the new Shaw Sports Turf field, our goal is to see a 400 percent increase or 80,000 people during a calendar year.”

The same-type Shaw surface has been installed in practice fields and stadiums including for the Baltimore Ravens, Vanderbilt, Georgia Tech, LSU and Arkansas.

“The new field is going to be a focal point in the community,” said Todd Penley of Medallion. “We believe Central Cabarrus will be proud of the result and we’re proud to be the company that’s helping to make that happen.”

A similar playing surface recently was installed in Brevard, where Brevard College and Brevard High School share a field.

The teams wanted to use blue turf, but Boise State owns the rights to that color and would not grant them to Brevard because the college plays there. Rights have been granted by the Broncos to other high schools for blue fields.

The Central Cabarrus project is expected to cost about $900,000. Central Cabarrus has received a grant and raised money for the project. Cabarrus County is spending $265,000 on the project and the Cabarrus County Schools $65,000.

School officials said the new field will save money in maintenance costs. The annual cost of natural grass maintenance is about $43,000. That includes field marking, equipment, labor, irrigation, supplies and materials. The cost of maintaining synthetic turf is about $2,000 annually.

The field was graded and a drainage system and base were installed prior to the rolls of turf being added.

Central Cabarrus will host Mount Pleasant Aug. 22 for the first official football game on the new field. The Vikings are also planning to play a soccer match Aug. 20.

Shaw Sports Turf is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Berkshire Hathaway is the parent company of BH Media, the owner of the Independent Tribune.

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Mark Plemmons is editor of the Independent Tribune in Concord, N.C.

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