Photo by: En-Plast
$5 million gift kicks off EWU’s Roos Field Renovation
When Jack Gillingham learned that Eastern Washington University (EWU) — a public university in Washington — needed a champion to kick-start an enormous renovation project, he immediately stepped up to the plate.
Gillingham, a Cheney, WA resident and business owner, donated $5 million toward transforming EWU’s athletic field, home to Eagles Football, into a stadium quality facility.
EWU invited fans to pick from potential field designs, and they were even auctioning off pieces of the old turf system to current students and alumni, with proceeds going to their athletic department and funding scholarships for student athletes.
Known for their bright red turf football field — Roos Field, also dubbed “The Inferno” — EWU’s Eagles have been on a 14 game winning streak since 2019. EWU’s goal was to build a new field worthy of their victorious football team — and keep the iconic red hue.
Out with old turf and crumb rubber infill
As part of the renovation of their 52 year -old stadium, one of EWU’s goals was to upgrade their field using modern materials to achieve the desired look and low maintenance.
The old Roos Field had red turf with black crumb rubber, an infill invented in the late 1990’s made from shredded tires. Crumb rubber requires ongoing maintenance and took away from EWU's vibrant and famous red turf. Since their field receives a good amount of snow each year, they were losing a large amount of the crumb rubber infill each time they plowed the turf, which meant topping it off by adding back in more rubber each time it snowed.
Roos Field is a practice and game field that is heavily used by a variety of sports teams such as the football team, soccer team, rugby team, and other intramural sports. Which, depending on the type of turf and infill used, can often mean more maintenance. With their high level of use, EWU had to decompact the crumb rubber infill each year during the field’s bi-annual deep clean.
EWU was also seeking a better option for aesthetics. In their red turf, crumb rubber cast shadows and black spots, particularly on the white numbers and lines.
Astroturf plus Envirofill: winning, low-maintenance combo
After hosting college sports in their athletic stadium for over 50 years, EWU was more than ready for the new generation of artificial turf systems. For artificial turf, they chose a turf fiber from AstroTurf® made from durable and non-abrasive polyethylene fibers.
And since they needed an upgrade from the crumb rubber, EWU chose Envirofill for a low-maintenance and aesthetically pleasing infill.
Envirofill’s round shape is easy on athletes’ feet, doesn’t wear down over time, and adds a layer of protection with Microban antimicrobial protection.
Photo by: AstroTurf
For a low-maintenance infill, EWU chose Envirofill
Low-maintenance from the start, Envirofill is an all-in-one infill that saves both time and money over the long run.
Unlike crumb rubber and most other infills, Envirofill is unique in that it doesn’t require an extra ballast layer, so it’s easier to get the field consistent throughout.
Since it’s denser and heavier than crumb rubber, Envirofill is less likely to migrate across Roos Field, which means it won’t need as frequent top off, for example, post snow plow. Envirofill requires minimal to no top off requirements for the life of the field, resulting in a lower cost of ownership, this means that EWU can keep The Inferno looking sharp and providing the same performance level with less maintenance.
Envirofill’s naturally rounded shape also means it won’t compact with heavy use, which means EWU will save on maintenance by not needing to spend time decompacting their infill.
The ideal shade of Envirofill to match Roos Field’s bright hue
Sports fields come in many shades, depending on the sport and culture of the team that plays on it.
Maintaining Roos Field’s iconic red color was vital to EWU — and the crumb rubber they previously used cast dark shadows across the turf.
Envirofill for sports fields comes in three colors — green, tan, and red clay — which made it easy for EWU to find a shade that would maintain their bright hue.
EWU tested two Envirofill colors, the red clay, and the tan options, to see how they blended in with the bright red turf, both up close and from the stands. The result? The tan Envirofill blended in perfectly, without being too bright.
Envirofill: an ideal option for low-maintenance athletic fields with carefully considered aesthetic
EWU needed to give their tired athletic field a modern upgrade, and Envirofill was the ideal support for their new turf field. It was a unique project since their iconic red field required specific aesthetic attention.
Today, Roos Field is more aesthetically pleasing, modern, and low-maintenance than ever before — and thanks to a perfect infill match with Envirofill, its vibrant red hue still shines for Eagles fans and players alike.
Interested in learning more about installing Envirofill in your athletic field? Contact Us Today