Walla Walla Chooses Hellas' Matrix Helix Turf, Organic Infill, and Wave Pad Placing Student Safety First

14 June 2024

Walla Walla Public Schools and Hellas have broken ground on a major project with the installation of eight new TPS 5000 tennis courts, surfacing of three running tracks, installation of two synthetic turf fields, and LED lighting for those fields. Currently under construction and once the subgrade work is completed, Hellas will be installing a WAVE™ shock pad and Matrix Helix® synthetic turf fields equipped with Thermoblend™ infill.

Thermoblend infill is a unique combination of recycled cellulose materials and olive particles which serve to absorb, store, and release water, resulting in reduced field temperatures by up to 30 degrees compared to traditional SBR Crumb Rubber. This innovative infill provides superior foot stability, while enhancing GMAX ratings and ensuring the safety of students.

The Matrix Helix turf system is known for its optimal cleat interaction, stable footing, and outstanding shock absorption. The innovative shape memory technology of helix features curled monofilament fibers that securely hold the infill in place, eliminating migration and splash-out concerns.

Hellas will also be installing V300 epiQ tracks at Pioneer Middle School and Garrison Middle School, andeipQ X1000 RETOP at the existing Wa-Hi Klicker Track. The V300 epiQ tracks are made from eco-friendly, non-petroleum-based materials and feature an impermeable, paved-in-place surface for a long-lasting sports surface. The WAVE is a 15mm high impact injection-molded polypropylene pad designed to enhance athlete safety with optimal shock absorption. The WAVE is made from recycled material. Low Glare/Low Spill lighting from Cooper Ephesus will be installed at the Wa-Hi Stadium field as well as the new turf practice field.

According to Superintendent Dr. Wade Smith, "Hellas' Matrix Helix Turf fields with all-natural infills, their epiQ track surface, and the Cooper/Ephesus lighting system represent the safest, fastest, and most durable systems in the industry. The choice to prioritize student safety and environmental friendliness with the selected Hellas turf, track, tennis, and field lighting products demonstrates Walla Walla Public Schools' commitment to the welfare of their students and the community as a whole."

Justin Rose, Hellas Vice President of Sales in the Pacific Northwest, expressed excitement about the long-term relationship with Walla Walla Public Schools, stating, "Walla Walla's decision to prioritize a safer pad and natural infill within the turf showcases their dedication to student well-being and environmental sustainability. The selected Hellas turf, track, tennis, and LED lighting will serve the students at Walla Walla Public Schools for many years to come."

Superintendent Smith noted, "Once we complete the major field, court, and track improvements, we will begin transitioning into the second phase of the projects, focusing on bleachers, restrooms, and other site improvements. Our improved construction phasing will allow us to wrap up all the voter-approved projects by fall of 2025, one full school year ahead of the original schedule."

"The strategic use of national cooperative purchasing pricing and the requirement to use local labor demonstrate the district leadership's commitment to the Walla Walla community," according to Rose.