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Final turf installation to begin at FNC Park

Over the past decade since FNC, Inc. took over, the athletic fields at FNC Park have gradually seen improvements, including the installation of turf fields.

The final set of fields are set to receive their makeover in the coming months.

The final quad of fields, Quad C, will feature turf infields and increase the number of surfaces that can sustain large amounts of rain and improve tournament and league games to 12.

Construction work has already begun on the fields, at least from a planning stage. The hope is to begin the project now and have it completed by January – a plan Brad Freeman, director of FNC Park, said will provide flexibility for construction.

“The past two times we did this type of work, we started in January, which is risky with the weather,” Freeman said. “Now, we want to try and be done by January, because we are starting in September and October. It’s really important for us to start soon and give us some wiggle room time for the weather, because it doesn’t care what your plans are.”

The first step will be excavating the infields, then outlining the area which will be replaced with turf. Then, work crews will begin to dig into the dirt a foot deep before installing perimeter drains, fabric and rock. Once that process is complete, the turf will be installed.

Players and parents of the Oxford Park Commission youth soccer league will be the first to see the new turf fields. Outfields in Quad C host some league games, and a fence will be installed to mark off the areas that have not had construction completed.

FNC Park’s maintenance crews will do a majority of the sub surface works, which accounts for nearly 80 percent of the project. With this being the park’s third time installing turf on their fields, the process is going a little smoother, Freeman said.

“We feel a lot better about the process now that we have eight fields completed,” he said. “We know how to do it. Going from Quad A, to now, it’s amazing. The product that we got was outstanding.”

Quad C has primarily hosted softball teams in both the OPC youth and adult leagues, along with teams coming from out of town for tournaments. The addition of the turf infield will help with the increasing amount of fast-pitch softball tournaments the park has hosted in recent years.

Freeman said he is hoping with the readjusted timeline that the project will be completed in time for their first event in February.