HOCKEY: The summer blast that has temperatures hovering around the 40C mark could not have come at a better time for Rockhampton Hockey Association.
The artificial turf is being replaced at the game's head- quarters at Kalka Shades and it's a case of "the hotter the better" when it comes to laying the new carpet.
RHA facilities co- ordinator Ryan Knowles, who is overseeing the refurbishment of the existing field and the construction of the new one, said the heat made the carpet easier to roll because it stretched and became more pliable.
The first of it was rolled out on Saturday morning and the remainder will be put down before being glued and cut into place.
The project is on track to be finished by March 1, in time for the 2018 season start in mid-March.
The new surface has a 10mm carpet height and is the same as that being used at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
German company Polytan, which has laid the surfaces for the hockey events at the past five Olympic Games, is doing the work.
It will also install the new surface in September, which means the RHA will boast the facilities that will allow it to host national and international tournaments.
Knowles said Polytan had two senior staff members on site for the turf replacement, and four local labourers were also involved.
"You could say we've got the A-team here with the two guys laying our field involved in laying the surfaces at the last three Olympics," he said.
Knowles said the first step in replacing the turf was lifting the existing carpet.
Once it was up, a third- party testing laboratory from Melbourne (the only one in Australia) tested the shock pad to ensure it still had the right spring in it to ensure proper ball roll and bounce.
It had to meet an international standard and Knowles said it passed with flying colours.
Some remedial work was done on the shock pad before the new carpet was put down.
Knowles said when that was finished, attention would turn to the new turf, which would run parallel to and off the north-east corner of the existing one.
Local company Calibre Consulting has won the tender for the design and specification writing.
Tenders will be called for the construction, to start in early July.
Polytan staff will return to lay the surface in September, with a completion date of mid-October.
The Kalka Shades hockey redevelopment is being funded by the three levels of government and the RHA.