Phillips Exeter Academy (PEA) is a co-educational residential school serving more than 1,000 students in grades 9 through 12 and post-graduate level. Along with advanced academic programs, the Academy has a strong emphasis on physical activities to ensure a balance of physical and mental fitness is achieved by its student athletes. With this in mind, PEA recognized the need to upgrade the natural turf field at Phelps Stadium and to address its structurally compromised stadium seating. PEA engaged Harvey Construction to install a new artificial turf field made of synthetic material and to repair the seating by the beginning of the fall sports season. The project had to be completed within a very tight four month time frame.
Although the deadline appeared in jeopardy due to water levels that were two feet above normal, Harvey effectively solved the problem by installing a highly efficient drainage system. Once the water issue was eliminated, Harvey removed the existing natural field turf and replaced it with the new artificial turf. Next, crews power washed the seating, painted existing stadium rails and new lines on the field, and created new asphalt pedestrian walkways. Finally, they did a major structural renovation of the original stadium seating. The bleachers had warped and shifted out of alignment over time due to the settlement of the earth below. Harvey successfully dismantled the bleachers and reinstalled them. Thanks to value engineering, enhanced coordination efforts and competitive pricing, Harvey was able to complete the project on time and under budget.
The improvements made to the new Phelps Stadium have reduced its maintenance requirements considerably. Its new artificial turf field allows it to be plowed without damage, a major benefit when it comes to fall and spring games and team practices. Because of the new drainage system Harvey installed, spring teams can play games and practice no matter how much it rains. The stadium upgrades were enough to attract a semi-professional football team from Maine, which uses it to practice.