Location :

Ferntree Gully, VIC

Client :

Balmain | St Joseph’s College

Year :

2022-2024

Sector :

Natural turf | Hybrid turf | Athletics track | AFL | Athletic | Cricket | Hockey | Tennis | Soccer

SPORTENG worked as part of the design team on the St Joseph College's elite sports precinct.

A main requirement for the College was to increase carrying capacity of their Natural Fields to maximise playing hours and the expansion of the College’s sports precinct to include a Multiuse synthetic field, providing an all-weather elite surface for Hockey and Tennis and a Polyurethane rubber sprint track and Long / Triple Jump runway and landing pit.  With this in mind, SPORTENG were able to design a world-class multi-sport precinct that stands proudly at the centre of the school grounds.

Students now enjoy a combined full sized FIH certified hockey pitch and eight tennis courts, a FIFA standard natural turf soccer field with hybrid turf in high wear areas, a natural turf AFL and cricket oval with a modified Athletics facility on its perimeter, including sprint lanes, long jump/triple jump pits and other athletics elements.

THE CHALLENGE

The site's location in a flood zone posed a significant challenge for the natural AFL & Soccer fields, leading to inundation with floodwaters and rendering the fields unusable for weeks. Additionally, the heavy soil profile exacerbated this issue. Moreover, the high volume of student usage, with over 1,000 students using the fields daily, resulted in substantial wear and tear on the field surface.

THE SOLUTION

To address these challenges, SPORTENG implemented various solutions.

For the flood-prone natural fields, we designed a perched water drainage gravel and rootzone profile. This design allowed surface water to pass through quickly into the subsurface drainage system during heavy rain events, keeping the surface free of water and enabling continued maintenance and play.

 

Furthermore, SPORTENG developed a tailored Turf Management Plan to mitigate the wear and tear caused by student usage, providing the turf and rootzone profile with the best chance of withstanding the daily foot traffic.

 

Additionally, for the Synthetic Multiuse Hockey/Tennis facility and Athletics track, which required tight level tolerance to meet international standards, SPORTENG engineered a pavement solution to stabilise the playing/running surfaces over the problematic subgrade composed of reactive clays.

 

Our expertise also proved invaluable during the construction phase, where we provided timely support and advice to remediate issues such as groundwater affecting the Multiuse Hockey/Tennis facility subgrade, ensuring the project met Quality requirements and progressed smoothly.

Trucks on a construction side
Preparation of the synthetic multiuse Field of Play
Gravel laid on a construction site

Perched water drainage gravel and rootzone profile being put in place for the natural turf oval

Aerial view of two natural turf oval fields of play

Aerial view of the natural turf oval Fields of Play

THE RESULTS

The sporting facilities at St Joseph’s are nothing short of world class. The natural fields of play comply with AFL and FIFA requirements, the Hockey fields meets FIH standards and the Athletic sprint track meets World Athletics Class 2 standard, which ensures their high quality and ongoing accountability as elite sporting facilities. The Fields of Play at St Jospeh’s are the centrepiece of the school, and will set a new benchmark in sporting facilities for prestigious schools across Australia.