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Calvary Chapel Football Field
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

 

The athletic field at Calvary Chapel in Philadelphia is intensively utilized. The Academy offers boys’ soccer and football as well as girls’ soccer and field hockey. All practices and all games are played on the same single field. In addition to these school activities, the church offers a summer-long soccer program for players ages four through high school. The field is occupied pretty much daily from early spring through late fall.


Added to that, the field was built on native soil that was predominately clay. Drainage was a big issue to say the least. According to Fred McGonagle, Calvary Chapel Maintenance Supervisor, they had been trying to amend the soil for the past 10 years to no avail. Grass simply could not take root in the heavily used, poorly drained, dense soil.


The spring of 2006 ended all of that. Calvary Chapel hired Delaware Valley Athletic Fields to renovate the field. The process began with a complete regrading to ensure proper slope, pitch, and evenness. 200 tons of top soil were trucked in and graded to match the sub-grade.


This was followed by the installation of the Multi-Flow drainage system. This system was comprised of parallel collector lines spread out across the field to gather the water and a transport pipe to carry the water away. Collector lines were spaced every 5 yards. All the lines ran to the south side of the field where they emptied into an 8-inch PVC transport pipe which emptied into a retention pond. The sideline PVC transport pipe was placed below the level of the Multi-Flow collector lines. The transport was placed at grade and partially backfilled. Access was then created with a 3-inch hole saw. Each of the 24 Multi-Flow collector lines emptied into the top of the transport pipe, utilizing an exclusive Multi-Flow connector. Connection was fast, easy, neat, and effective.


The spoil removed from the trenches was carefully removed from the field and the trenches were backfilled with coarse sand. The center of the field was then sodded and the sides were seeded. The field was then closed for the summer in order to allow the turf to become well established.

Larry George from DVH was pleased with the convenience and performance of the Multi-Flow system. He liked the way all the Multi-Flow components snapped together easily and effectively “without duct tape.” He was especially impressed with Multi-Flow’s method of tapping into the PVC transport pipes. George summarized, “We are definitely going to be using Multi-Flow again on upcoming projects.”

McGonagle reported that in mid May, two weeks after the project was completed, North Philly received a dramatic two-inch deluge. The field responded remarkably well. No pockets of standing water were to be found and the 8” exit pipe was operating at over half-capacity shortly after the rain.

The Calvary Chapel maintenance staff is confident that the field will be in great shape for football season! (and field hockey season, and boys’ soccer season, and girls’ soccer season, and summer soccer camp, and .....)

 

 


The Calvary Chapel campus in northern Philadelphia includes a church, Pre-K through 12 school, a book store, day-care and numerous other activities.
An eight inch PVC pipe was installed along the lower side of the field. It functions as a transport system for the Multi-Flow collector lines. Soon grass will cover this and all other evidence of construction activity
Twelve hours after a significant rain storm, flow from this discharge pipe has slowed to a trickle. According to the maintenance supervisor, it had been flowing at more than half capacity eight hours earlier.
      
With a hole saw and Multi-Flow’s exclusive connector, the junction to the transport pipe was fast, easy, neat, and effective.
Only the center, most intensively used, portion of the field was sodded. Visible off to the sides in this photo are seeded areas. Drainage was installed to include the field and generous sideline areas.
This is truly a multi-purpose field. Visible in this shot are not only a football upright/soccer goal but also, a playground and a heavy duty, urban fence.