Ceremony to mark opening of new turf facility

By Melissa Wedig

University officials will open a new building at the Joseph Troll Turf Research Center in South Deerfield on Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 1:30 p.m. The 3,000-square-foot facility supports on-site research and will house a research lab, meeting room and conference space and an equipment repair facility. The event is open to the public.

Among those who will be on hand include Chancellor John V. Lombardi, Cleve Willis, dean of the College of Natural Resources and the Environment (NRE); Steve Goodwin, associate dean of NRE; and Marcellette Williams, senior vice president for Academic Affairs and International Relations. Also participating will be state Sen. Stanley C. Rosenberg (D-Amherst) Rep. Stephen Kulik (D-Worthington) Kevin Lyons, president of TurfLinks, Inc.; and James Conant, superintendent of the Country Club of Pittsfield.

The new building, located off River Road in South Deerfield, is part of a larger initiative over the past two years to make the turf program nationally competitive. “We are ramping up the quality of the research to better serve the turf industry here in New England,” says Goodwin. The turf program, which was the first of its kind in the nation, has always been a partnership between the university and the turf industry.

The fund-raising campaign for the new building raised more than $800,000 and was supported by the major turf associations such as the New England Regional Turf Foundation, the New England Golf Course Owners Association, the Golf Course Superintendents Association of New England, the Golf Course Managers Association of Cape Cod and the Massachusetts Golf Association. Substantial contributions also came from turf industry leaders such as Turf Links, R.F. Morse Turf and Ornamental and Johnson Golf Management. The effort also attracted contributions from alumni, golf course superintendents and friends of the turf program.

Photo: Daniel J. Fitzgibbons