A brand new under soil heating system is set to be installed at Selhurst Park next week as the extensive pitch renovation continues despite the recent poor weather.
A new drainage system has already been completed, with new mains around the perimeter of the pitch and lateral drains running underneath the playing surface itself.
The club’s new irrigation system is also set to be finished this week, which will allow more rain water to be cleared from the pitch at a faster rate than before.
That will pave the way for under soil heating to be integrated next week, with the work to install the network of pipes taking around five days to complete.
Re-seeding for the pitch itself is on track to begin at the end of June, ahead of the start of the 2014/15 Barclays Premier League season on 16th August.
Ground staff are currently working around the clock seven days a week to keep the huge overhaul on track, but it’s not just in SE25 where major changes are taking place.
At the club’s Beckenham training ground, the former under-16s pitch will become a new area for the first team squad, with the fibre sand from Selhurst Park being reused on their playing surface.
That means Tony Pulis’ first team charges will now have two pitches to train on during the week, rather than one.
Speaking on the renovation work, the club’s head groundsman, Gareth Read, said: “The Premier League brought in in regulations to have under soil heating, which means we have to dig a lot deeper. We would probably go down about five inches on a normal renovation, but this year we’ve gone down about 16 or 17 inches.
“We’ve probably taken out about 5,000 tonnes of soil to make way for a brand new pitch, new drainage and new irrigation so that we are up there pitch-wise with other Premier League teams, which is fantastic for the club.
“It’s an exciting time. We are spending quite a bit of money to get the facilities up to a Premier League standard, which we all want. We are on the same playing field as your Tottenhams and Arsenals now in terms of the structure of the pitch, so it’s fantastic.”
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