Vail Mountain School unveils new turf field
VAIL — Vail Mountain School officially opened the new Bandoni Alumni Field on Saturday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony to kick off the Gore Rangers’ home opener against the Battle Mountain boys soccer team.
Head of School Mike Imperi, along with VMS students Colin Glackin, Drew Johnson, Dylan Levine and Theo Marston, cut a ceremonial orange ribbon. Glackin and Johnson, both lower school students, stepped forward with $10 donations from their allowances when they heard about the fundraising effort to replace the field. Levine and Marston represented their families, who were the first donors to the project.
During the summer, the school replaced the old synthetic turf and crumb rubber infill on Bandoni Alumni Field with a new state-of-the-art system that utilizes an underlying cushioning pad and Thermo Plastic Elastomer infill. Desso Sports Systems, the same company that replaced the field this summer, is also the manufacturer of the original synthetic turf field installed in 2003. The pad, which ensures consistent cushioning over the life of the field and assists in concussion mitigation, is manufactured by Colorado-based Brock Engineered Base Systems.
The TPE infill was the source of much attention in the process because of safety concerns about other infill products. A committee made up of members of the VMS administration, board of trustees, parents and coaches spent six months evaluating best practices and scientific research related to the safety, playability and durability of all options available.
“We chose TPE because we believe that it is the best choice to ensure the safety of our athletes as well as the environment,” Imperi said.
Bandoni Alumni Field is an official FIFA full-sized pitch and home to the Gore Rangers soccer and lacrosse teams. The VMS girls soccer team has won the 2A state championship for the past two years, and the boys have advanced to the playoffs both years as well. Last year, VMS officially launched a varsity lacrosse program that made it to the 4A playoffs. Bandoni Alumni Field is used by local and visiting soccer and lacrosse teams during the many tournaments hosted in Vail throughout the year.