Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Drainage Drama at the DBAP

Now the story can be told…

On or about June 4th we noticed a damp area in our warning track. It was more like a puddle of quick sand. Step in it and your shoes and ankles disappeared. Further investigation revealed a sinkhole. Would it render the field unplayable? Our next home stand - just days away - was set for June 8th.

In my world that’s big drama! A major series was about to begin with Buffalo and Gwinnett. Missing any of those games was not an option. The cone of silence was imposed for the weekend as GM Mike Birling and Head Groundskeeper Scott Strickland pondered the looming crisis and an emergency fix.

The Problem: Heavy rains had saturated the grassy bank behind this concrete wall of signs. The drainage system had failed and an underground aquifer had formed beneath the warning track in center field. (If only Blue Cross could help us!?!)

The Fix: Excavate the area, bore through thick concrete, install drainage, add 20 tons of crushed stone and restore the track as well as the adjacent turf. Nolan Thomas and Company, athletic field contractor, to the rescue! They began at sunrise on June 8th - and remarkably, thankfully - the Bulls played the first game of our home stand that evening at 7:05.

Thanks to Nolan Thomas, Penhall Construction Services and Bovis Lend Lease for savin’ our bacon!