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FFAS playing surface stripped away

This is in preparation for a new playing field to replace the one that was damaged by the earthquake and tsunami of Sept. 29, 2010. In 2007 the new and improved soccer field opened and last only two years. The FFAS staff were able to clear the debris, swept away rocks big and small and patched up the holes here and there, enabling the association to hold high school and its own competitions.
Vuksich & Borich Field Consultant Laurie Stubbing and FFAS Field Maintenance Manager Paepae Soia Su are overseeing the work being carried out by Paramount Builders Inc. of stripping and removing of the old surface.
Once that is complete they will get their own crew to start drainage and irrigation work, but with the help of a Paramount Builders’ backhoe.
“We will be trenching the extension parts of the field (towards the main office; by the stream and towards Mauga’s residence) to lay the drainage flow pipes,” Stubbing explained. “About 7/8’s of the field has drainage and irrigation so we will be concentrating on the new extension put in.”
“It will be easier this time around for me because I was heavily involved in this part when we built the first playing surface,” recalls Paepae. “As Laurie has explained he will be standing to the side and letting me supervise everything and it should not be hard.”
For irrigation, they will add two stations of sprinklers to the seven already in place while adding an extra sprinkler to each of the current stations to cover the newly extended field. The extended and enlarged playing surface will allow FFAS to mark out two FIFA International fields of minimum length (110 yards) and width (70 yards).
After the drainage and irrigation phase a final leveling of the entire surface will follow using equipment Vuksich & Borich shipped down. The only setback is a tractor as the FFAS tractor bought in 2006 is still undergoing repairs it sustained from the earthquake and tsunami. The next phase includes spreading a base fertilizer, approximately 375kg of it.
“After that final leveling we will lay a layer of sandy top soil that will be about an inch and a half to two inches thick that will also need to be leveled,” Stubbing pointed out. “After that the grass will be sown and fertilized at the same time.”
Stubbing will depart the territory after this phase, leaving the rest up to Paepae and his assistant Lemusa Alatasi.
“It is hard to guess how long the grass will grow because of weather and nature,” Stubbing said. “During the grow-in period Nature takes control while all Soia can do is help by irrigating and fertilizing the field.”
100kg of carpet grass will be sown while amount of fertilizer that goes with it will be based on how much is required according to what they see.
Carpet grass is replacing the Bermuda grass species used for the now stripped old surface.
“Carpet grass is farmed in Australia but is very prolific in the island,” Stubbing said. “We struggled with the other species of grass and using carpet grass is based on my observation of what’s growing well here such as the parks and lawns so that’s why we’ve gone that way.”
“Once we get all of this done our field will be beautiful to look upon again,” Paepae added. “But first things first, we must crawl, then walk before we can run.”

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