As the athletic director in the Alvin Independent School District (ISD), with more than 24,000 students nestled along the Gulf Coast, Mike Bass knows the power a football field and some Friday night lights can have on a community. With 4,000-plus student athletes, Alvin ISD has a lot of football fans. And, since everything is bigger in Texas, so is the high school football stadium—with capacity for more than 7,000 fans.
High school teams across Texas use inflatable run-through tunnels to introduce the players onto the field. This meant the district’s stadium needed a way to power air compressors on the field.
“We needed something that was not going to be a hindrance,” says Bass. “We didn’t want anything sticking up out of the ground, and we had to have something that could handle moisture since turf fields are designed to allow water to flow through them. With that in mind, we tasked the team at Stewart Builder to find a product that would integrate with our field.”
The team at Stewart Builder recommended the Outdoor Ground Box from Legrand to Bass and his staff. The Ground Box uses a unique diving bell design to create and maintain an air pocket that protects the electrical connections from getting wet in adverse weather conditions.
It also features anti-float to prevent the cover from lifting up and breaking the air bubble or tripping a student athlete or coach, and it’s lockable for preventing unauthorized use.
“We actually put turf on top of the Ground Box so it blends in with the field—you can’t even tell it’s there,” says Bass. “We find ourselves constantly relying on it, not only during football games, but for practice, too, like powering pitching and jug machines and recharging our electric cart.”
The team at Alvin ISD hadn’t yet used the Ground Box when Hurricane Harvey touched down on the coast.
“We needed to test the box to see if it worked well in all conditions, and we tested with about 53 inches of water,” says Bass.
Harvey flooded the stadium with more than 4 feet of water, as well as the town, leaving many students and families underwater.
The damage left behind from Harvey was widespread, but eventually the water receded and life returned to normal around Alvin. When the lights flooded the Alvin ISD field for a Friday night football game, folks really started to feel like themselves again. However, the real test was going to be if the Ground Box survived the hurricane.
“We opened up the Ground Box, plugged it in, and it worked,” says Bass. “The Ground Box did not miss a beat.”
Legrand is a global specialist in electrical and network infrastructure solutions, delivering access to power, light, and date that transforms millions of spaces where people live and work around the world. For more information, visit www.legrand.us.
Modern Contractor Solutions, July 2018
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