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SprinTurf, New Landscaping Highlight Lubetkin Renovations

NEWARK, N.J. – With the soccer seasons set to begin for New Jersey Institute of Technology, the men’s and women’s Highlanders were not the only squads hard at work on Lubetkin Field. A team of workers has spent the week putting the finishing touches on summer-long renovations of NJIT’s on-campus home.

The highlight of the project was the replacement of Lubetkin’s natural grass with SprinTurf, an artificial surface. SprinTurf is the only artificial grass on the market that does not use sand in its infill. The 100-percent rubber infill feels and reacts more like natural grass and allows the surface to last longer, without changing characteristics, than those with sand-based infills.

“We desperately needed a new soccer facility,” said NJIT director of athletics Lenny Kaplan. “The old natural grass surface gave us limited use, and was unable to take the wear and tear of practices and an increasing intramural and club sport program. The new artificial grass facility can be in use 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and still be in top shape.”

The first NJIT varsity event on the new pitch will take place on Sunday, when the women’s soccer team meets St. Anselm College at noon. Next Wednesday, the men’s soccer team plays host to Monmouth College at 6:30 p.m. in its first-ever game as a member of NCAA Division I.

“The decision to put in the field coincided with the plan to elevate the men’s soccer program to Division I,” Kaplan said. “It also fits in nicely with the ongoing campus beautification project.”

Among other enhancements to Lubetkin was the installation of a running track around the soccer field. When weather permits, the track’s surface will be rubberized. The addition of pavers improved wheelchair accessibility to the spectator area, and the perimeter was beautified with shrubbery.

“One of the best recruiting tools in college athletics is a facility, and now ours creates excitement,” said second-year NJIT men’s soccer coach Pedro Lopes. “Any athlete that can move from high school to play on a beautiful facility with a beautiful surface in the middle of campus has to get excited. President (Robert A.) Altenkirch, Lenny, and everyone behind this project did a great job of speeding up the process to get it done in time for this season.”

A live webcam of the new Lubetkin Field can be viewed at

NJIT is a public, scientific and technological research university enrolling more than 8,800 students. The university offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees to students in 80 degree programs. NJIT ranks among the top schools of U.S. News & World Report’s list of national doctoral universities. The Highlanders’ athletics department sponsors 14 NCAA Division-II varsity sports, seven for men and seven for women, plus Division-I men’s soccer.

Coordinator of Sports Information Services,
New Jersey Institute of Technology
Information Director,
Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference
(973) 596-8324
FAX (973) 596-8440
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