Kent County Recreation Center gets finishing touches

Workers from Georgia-based Shaw Sports Turf stitch panels of artificial turf together as they install the new turf fields at the future Kent County Recreation Center. (Delaware State News/Dave Chambers)

Workers from Georgia-based Shaw Sports Turf stitch panels of artificial turf together as they install the new turf fields at the future Kent County Recreation Center. (Delaware State News/Dave Chambers)

DOVER — The Kent County Recreation Center will be open for business in early June after just about a year and a half of work.

Finishing touches are under way with the most noticeable to passers-by being construction of the outdoor turf field.

“It’s as green as green can be,” said Jeremy Sheppard, assistant director of Kent County Parks and Recreation.

The laying of the turf was part of a bigger site plan headed up by A-Del Construction, the site work contractor.

To prepare for the turf’s installation, A-Del had to build two drainage systems, an irrigation system and lay a stone base that had to be graded to perfection.

A team came in last Tuesday to start laying the turf. The turf is shipped in large rolls and laid on the field, one by one, before being stitched together by GTR Synthetic Grass of Virginia.

Once the turf is laid perfectly, it will be time to mark the turf for each sport planned for the field. The lone turf field will be lined to accommodate high school football, high school soccer, field hockey, lacrosse and youth soccer. Since youth soccer uses a smaller field, it will be possible to have two games going simultaneously side by side.

The process from the turf arriving to it being filled can take up to a month to complete.

“Once the field is ready to go, the only things left to do are the lighting and fencing,” Mr. Sheppard said.

The light structures are standing, but not yet functional. H&A Electrical will have the lights powered up within the next few weeks and the fence will be built as soon as the field is complete.

The turf field isn’t the only project that needs to be wrapped up before the official grand opening is planned for June 4:

The Rec Center building is set to open on May 23.

The last touches are being made to the interior so a certificate of occupancy can be earned in early May.

Once the certificate is signed, Parks and Recreation staff from the county building on Bay Road will begin to move in, starting with furniture and computers.

The staff transition should be completed by May 23 and the center should be open to the public on the same day.

Reach staff writer Ashton Brown at abrown@newszap.com. Follow @AshtonReports on Twitter.

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