COLCHESTER, Vt. - Saint Michael's College's Christopher M. Duffy Artificial Turf Field will receive a new state-of-the-art surface this summer through Calhoun, Ga.-based Shaw Sports Turf, with removal set to begin this week and installation expected to be completed by mid-June. The turf for the first and only artificial field Purple Knight teams have ever called home, which was installed in 2005, will be replaced with a more modern synthetic surface.
"We look forward to upgrading Duffy Field by completing a project that had outlived its useful life of 10 years, requiring a turf replacement," said Director of Athletics Geri Knortz. "The new, modern surface will simultaneously make the facility perfect for field hockey, lacrosse and soccer for the first time, and we are excited to provide this upgrade to our student-athletes and coaches." Duffy Field is home to the Saint Michael's field hockey, men's and women's lacrosse, and men's and women's soccer teams.
Saint Michael's will join institutions such as Vanderbilt University and Providence College by installing synthetic surface Legion 46, with the College becoming the first among 15 institutions in the Northeast-10 Conference to utilize Shaw to install Legion turf. Nearby Norwich University also uses the surface. Duffy Field's current Victory Turf product is more geared toward field hockey, but Legion 46's dual-fiber technology combines slit film and monofilament fibers, making it not only an ideal playing surface for turf-field sports, but durable and aesthetically pleasing. Shaw touts the surface, which features three shades of green, as being intended to produce a true grass-like appearance. New logos will also adorn the field.
Established in 1946 as a rug-dyeing company, Shaw broadened its services to include carpeting and flooring and, upon acquiring leading synthetic turf company Sportexe Construction Services, Inc., in 2009, sports surfacing. Shaw has installed more than 100 Legion fields across the country, with 16 in the New England states of Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont alone.
Initial construction of Duffy Field was performed during the summer of 2005, and was made possible due to a generous lead gift by John and Kathleen Duffy, parents of Kevin Duffy '03, a four-year member of the men's lacrosse team. The gift was made in memory of Kevin's older brother, Christopher, who died during the September 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center in New York City. John Duffy has been a member of the Saint Michael's Board of Trustees.