Paragon Sports Constructors
Since 2009, Paragon Sports Constructors (PSC) has become a big-name player in high-end natural grass and synthetic turf sports field construction in the Texas region. From design to installation and maintenance, the Texas-based subcontractor assists public and private institutions, municipalities, universities, major league teams and other clients of all shapes and sizes navigate the complex arena of sports construction.
“Our line of work is especially interesting, because unlike, say a science building for a school or university that only a small population might see, thousands of people get to come and enjoy a sports venue,” shares William Chaffe, president of PSC. “It’s a wonderful feeling to go out on a Friday night and sit in a stadium where we’ve built the track and field and watch it get put to use. It’s very satisfying work.”
Based in Fort Worth, Texas, PSC is now one of the region’s largest specialty sports construction companies. “We’re now doing 20 to 30 fields per year,” details Chaffe.
Paving the Way for a New Era of Sports Construction
Chaffe, who has a degree in civil engineering and a background in real estate development, purchased PSC’s predecessor company in August 2009 with other partners. However, the firm’s roots trace back to the 1970s. “The company was originally known as Track Masters when the majority of their work was running tracks,” Chaffe recounts.
Originating as an asphalt paving company and headed by a father-son team, Track Masters quickly earned a reputation for high quality paving surfaces, and soon area contractors sought the company’s skill to pave running tracks. Running tracks eventually took off into new track construction and all-weather surfaces that began to gain popularity.
By the end of the 2000s, the small father-son paving company had become one of the premier turnkey sports contractors in the south central U.S. However, like many companies in 2008 and 2009, the company lacked the capital to continue to grow.
“We purchased the company in 2009, coming from real estate development, and renamed the business PSC,” reveals Chaffe. “I quickly found that there’s often a greater sense of pride in this line of work than in building shopping centers. You feel like you are making a difference in people’s lives. I’m very passionate about it.”
Over the last five years, the company has grown alongside new and improved industry technology as synthetic turf systems have become far more advanced in duplicating natural grass. New infilled turf systems are of record-breaking caliber as far as quality, durability and longevity, as compared to the original green carpet fields developed in the 1960s.
“Older turf systems were basically padded carpet on concrete or asphalt and did not resemble natural grass in look or playability,” notes Chaffe. “The modernized infill turf consists of plastic grass fiber with up to two inches of sand and crumb-rubber infill and it looks and plays very much like natural grass. There’s little maintenance required and no mowing or fertilizing and maybe most importantly no watering.”
Chaffe says much of PSC’s work has been replacing worn-out systems that came into the mainstream in the 1990s and early 2000s. “We do a lot of replacement of old systems, replacing outdated material with higher performing infill turf,” he details.
Friday Night Lights
For PSC, there’s no better geographical location than the south central U.S, where even high school sports receive big-league attention. “Of course, Texas is where the Friday Night Lights concept originated,” Chaffe continues. “People are serious about their sports in Texas. Schools around here take great pride in their facilities.”
PSC delivers all aspects of field construction, from site work and drainage to concrete and turf and track installations for any number of high school, higher education, major and minor leagues and municipalities throughout Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana. “We currently employ about 45 full-time employees, but that number can jump to as many as 100 during peak season,” notes Chaffe. “Our busiest season is May through August when school is out, but we have another push when football season ends in the fall.”
According to Chaffe, the team’s services are particularly in demand where water and droughts are an issue. “With water in short supply, schools can’t afford to water huge grass fields so they are increasingly opting to replace their grass with a synthetic alternative,” he details.
Fielding Big-league Clients
After a brief five years making a name under PSC, Chaffe says the company has attracted some well-recognized clients. “We recently completed two synthetic fields for the FC-Dallas Major League Soccer Franchise and we are under contract to build a third,” he shares. “With a total of 16 practice fields, as well as a stadium field, the facility is a massive training ground for American soccer and hosts numerous events.”
From Oklahoma State University to Baylor University in Waco, Texas, PSC has been awarded sizable sports construction contracts. “We’ve also built projects for the University of Texas, Texas A&M, Texas State and UTSA,” adds Chaffe. “At Houston Baptist University we built the field for the school’s first D-1 football program. It’s always fun to be a part of something new.”
New and exciting projects are all in a day’s work for PSC. “There’s always an interesting project on the horizon for us,” assures Chaffe. “With the rising popularity of sports at all levels and the increasing demand for quality sports venues, there are several high profile projects being planned right now. We’re growing and there’s always a project out there for us to tackle.” After only five years in business, Paragon Sports Constructors continues to be a rising star in the sports construction arena.
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