Lacrosse field set to be completed Sept. 15, more occupancies possible

ZACH HORRALL | SPORTS CO-EDITOR | zhorrall@butler.edu

Butler University will have a new, multi-purpose field in less than a month, which will primarily serve for the new women’s lacrosse team debuting this spring.

On Butler’s west campus, construction began June 20 on a new lacrosse field just west of the softball field. The field is set to be completed on Sept. 15. The university declined to comment on the cost of the facility.

Until its completion, Cecil Pilson, head coach for the women’s lacrosse team, will hold his off season practices and workouts in the Butler Bowl and in workout rooms. But come Sept. 15, it will be all worth it.

“We are just really excited to have this facility,” he said. “It is a great addition. They’ve done a nice job.”

Wurster Construction built the stadium, while Shaw Turf installed the field alongside them. Butler used Wurster, who specializes in commercial, healthcare and religious construction, in the past for other interior renovations on campus.

This is the first sporting facility Wurster has built. Although the company is inexperienced in this type of construction, Carl Heck, associate athletic director of internal operations, said they hired Wurster in part due to the history they have with them.

“We are very confident in Wurster’s ability, and we are excited about the renovation,” Heck said.

Bob Chasteen, Wurster superintendent, said athletics had little involvement in the process, but university representatives were on site many times and are happy with the progress.

“The athletic department gets involved with us a little bit,” he said. “They were on site when we installed [storage] pods they purchased. They’re happy with where things are at.”

Head coach Pilson said his department was involved in the process, but more with the design and turf selection. Pilson said the university selected the exterior design themselves.

The turf at the lacrosse field, along with the Butler Bowl, will be monofilament fiber turf, which the Shaw Turf website said “combines the softness and lush appearance of natural grass with the engineered performance of modern synthetic turf.”

Pilson said it was his first choice of turf and the type he lobbied for.

“Most lacrosse teams play on a turf field,” Pilson said. “Monofilament [turf] is what I prefer. We really wanted the monofilament turf, because it acts more like grass.”

Also involved in the design process was the Butler soccer department, who helped decide the color of the lines. The soccer team will use the field on occasion when the Bowl is booked. There is also the possibility of holding soccer games at the new facility in the future.

Before the construction team could begin, they first had to excavate the site, install a drainage system and then pour concrete around the outer parts of the field.

Now they are working on the turf. The turf acts like giant rugs that are laid next to each other in sheets.

Finally, rubber and sand will be poured onto the field when the turf is completely sewed together. The turf has holes in the bottom to allow water to drain.

Chasteen said that while the field is on track to be completed by the target date, weather has been and could continue to be their biggest hurdle for the next month.

“The biggest challenge on a site like this is weather,” he said. “One day of heavy rain can hold you off for two or three days.”

Despite this, Pilson already began showing off the new stadium to incoming recruits. He said he feels the new stadium will put Butler at an advantage and make them look more appealing.

“Anytime an institution invests like this, that looks good and shows recruits that the university is interested,” he said.

He added that Butler has proved to him they are behind this team 100 percent.

“As a head coach, I really appreciate the effort the university is putting in for this,” he said. “It shows that they are committed to the athletic experience as well as the fan experience for those who come out.”

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