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Case study: Knox Grammar, Wahroonga


Synthetic turf and rubber soft fall projects for exclusive Sydney school


The client

Knox Grammar is a prestigious independent Uniting Church day and boarding school for boys, located in Wahroonga on Sydney’s Upper North Shore. Founded in 1924, the school caters for students from prep through to year 12, with extensive grounds and high-quality facilities on site. 

Knox’s senior campus includes an aquatic centre, sports facility, gymnasium, squash and weights rooms, music and drama centres, two boarding houses and a new performing arts academy. Knox also owns several major sporting fields including one on campus at the Senior School, two on campus at the Prep School, and two off-campus in Warrawee and neighbouring North Turramurra. 

With a formidable reputation as a rugby heavyweight, Knox Grammar is committed to investing in the best sporting fields and surfaces available to maintain its dominant sporting position throughout greater Sydney.

Preferred Turf’s solutions

We have been involved in several projects for Knox Grammar across different areas of the school.

Each project has contributed to the overall amenity and aesthetics of the school grounds, and we are pleased to have been chosen as a trusted supplier on multiple occasions offering on-site support and design advice as well as the highest quality installation.

Rugby oval warm-up zone

The existing warm-up area on the main rugby oval at the senior school was experiencing wear and tear issues around high traffic areas. Natural grass was failing under constant pressure from teams running out of the dressing rooms and warming up on the sidelines, and hard-packed grass offered little shock absorption. 

To counter this, Preferred Turf installed 60mm FIFA-grade synthetic turf that could stand up to the rigorous use of the rugby and sports teams. This FIFA Certified, high-performance playing surface provides superior ball control and has a durable, thick pile.

Knox Grammar also specifically required a shock pad underlay: this shock-absorbing, low-maintenance surface helps to increase comfort and reduce head injuries in the event of a fall or overly enthusiastic tackle. 

The closed-cell foam material combines impact protection with excellent drainage characteristics and unrivalled wear resistance and bounces back reliably after absorbing the energy of a fall.

Chessboard inlay for the MacNeil Centre

The MacNeil Centre is part of Knox Grammar’s Senior School campus. Named after the founding Headmaster, this area was once a garden that was a breakout zone for boarders. Ripe for updating, the school approached Preferred Turf to overhaul the area with a chessboard positioned on the roof of the MacNeil Centre. 

To accompany the adjacent seating area and basketball courts installed by other contractors, we laid out a base of green 40mm Premium synthetic turf and created a fun and vibrant giant chessboard with 18mm Multisport synthetic turf. This newly turfed area offered a substantial improvement to the breakout area for boarding students.

Prep school playground and landscaped mound

The well-landscaped grounds around the preparatory school were marred by an unsightly dirt mound that was both an eyesore and wasted space in the playground. Preferred Turf was engaged to overhaul this unused space with quality synthetic soft fall, working with play equipment specialists Moduplay to create a fun and vibrant playground area.

We installed a high-quality EPDM rubber soft fall surface in the school’s signature royal blue, along with 60mm FIFA-grade sports turf at the base of the mound to ensure that any sports taking place on the adjacent playing field would not be impacted. A 23mm shock pad underneath the turf helped to promote safety as a run-off from both the equipment and the playing field.

This upgrade also significantly improved the entrance to the playing field, offering a neat and well-maintained appearance befitting this distinguished school. 

Prep school nature strips

Nature strips located outside the preparatory school had seen better days, with heavy foot traffic causing compacted soil and minimal grass growth. On two tree-lined streets, large and intrusive tree roots were becoming a hazard, so Preferred Turf was called in to make a safer and more attractive school drop off area. 

Our team revamped the nature strips at the preparatory school on both street frontages using our 30mm high-density synthetic turf. This hard-wearing product is designed to stand up to constant foot traffic and is highly UV stabilised for demanding environments. 

To finish off this project, we added inset lines and numbers into the turf using white 30mm high-density turf, creating orderly car bays for before and after school pickup.

Trusted by the most reputable schools 

These individual projects have combined to transform unsightly, unsafe and unused areas into practical, colourful and enjoyable recreation spaces at Knox Grammar. 

Preferred Turf is an experienced and professional supplier and installer of synthetic turf and rubber soft fall surfaces throughout Sydney and beyond. With extensive experience in the education sector, we can offer help and advice on how to improve your school’s landscaped areas and playgrounds with synthetic turf and soft fall.

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