In keeping with the Sacramento State University campus’ rugged outdoor environment, Sacramento State offers opportunities for adventure both indoors and out. The school’s recreation and wellness center, known as The WELL, exists for the benefit of students and the greater Sacramento community. Built six years ago, The WELL is a 150,000-square-foot facility that offers student health support, outdoor education, a recreation facility, and a climbing wall.

“When the building was constructed, the architects included some weird spaces that were non-usable outdoor areas,” said Jason Blessinger, assistant director of fitness at Sacramento State. “More specifically, an area outside of the fitness center had access issues, and members could not go in and out. Our goal was: How can we use this space more effectively? We were looking at enclosing it, which would have cost more than $2 million and was too expensive. The administration thought this space would never be used.”

A recent trend toward functional training was starting to have an impact on the university. “We started creating other areas in the building for non-traditional exercise space, things like TRX and boxing, and it was getting used,” said Blessinger. “Our customer base was asking for more non-traditional exercise space.”

As a result, Sacramento State decided to turn the previously non-usable outdoor area into a functional turf space. Having had good success with Ecore Athletic Bounce 2 surfacing in its GroupX room, the university began working with David Sides, Ecore athletic & fitness regional sales manager. Sides suggested installing Training Ground with Nike Grind TurfX and Everlast UltraTile. TurfX features a 35mm thick system comprised of a 25mm turf wear layer field united to a 10mm Nike Grind SmashPad. What’s unique about TurfX is that the SmashPad is comprised of materials generated from recycled athletic shoes. This surface’s thatch support system also eliminates the need for infill and is highly customizable, with options for logos, agility drills, or other designs, in seven different colors.

“We got our logo in it and it looks really cool,” said Blessinger. “The logo enhances this space from the outside in. We don’t have turf anywhere else in our building, so to be able to offer an alternative exercise space is great. Members do sprints, agility work, roll tires, and perform outdoor work in this area. It’s [also] an awesome space to use for classes, because we’re not blocking off part of a weight room to do it, or actually having to be on a field.”

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