THE CLIENT: WESTLAKE GIRLS HIGH SCHOOL

Westlake Girls High School (WGHS) is an all-girls high school based on Auckland’s North Shore. They educate approximately 2,200 domestic and international students daily, which requires a large base of resources to provide high-quality learning experiences.

The WGHS international hockey turf is home to many sporting tournaments and groups, including the NZ Black Sticks’ women’s team who train professionally here. Junior and senior division teams all participate on the arena; with hockey consistently growing in participation at the school annually.

THE CHALLENGE

Before the hockey turf can be played upon, up to 12,000 litres of water needs to be applied to the surface to provide the right playing conditions and prevent potential damage to the surface.

WGHS were experiencing ongoing and increasing maintenance costs caused by sprinklers not rotating properly. “In some cases, the sprinklers had broken mechanisms from having been inappropriately tampered with, and the overall result of preparing the turf was becoming a frustrating exercise” explained Bruce Guthrie, Senior Irrigation Designer for Parkland Products. “Maintenance bills for the repairs were also becoming a burden” he said.

THE SOLUTION

Parkland consulted with the school property manager to understand the range of complexities associated with the turf and its usage, and keeping the maintenance costs and time to a minimum to ensure maximum playability.

Partnering with Richard Middleton from Easyflow Irrigation, a new design which included six of TORO’s Perrot P2M Piston Drive sprinklers was installed on January 2019.

Installed on custom fabricated galvanised standpipes with a new standing height of 2m from the ground, the sprinklers operate an incredible 49 metres radius at around 7 Bars of pressure, provided by the GRUNDFOS pump system.

This new arrangement offers easy adjustment for wind conditions and better coverage of water whilst maintaining the short operation time-frames desired by the school sports directors” explained Bruce.

THE IMPACT

Adopting the new system recommended by Parkland was a win/win for the school in maintaining a top-class hockey facility. It fits aesthetically within its surroundings, offers enhanced performance on the original units, and addresses the ongoing maintenance issue which was expensive and time consuming.

Sports directors at the school can now program use of the hockey turf with confidence that it plays as the turf designers originally intended.

The game they love can continued to be practised and played on a surface that will last for many years to come.