The Falcon | Volume 83, Issue 53
Renovation will allow for year-round activities
Published: October 3 2012
The Wallace Field renovations that will improve drainage and replace the field with synthetic turf will be completed on time at the end of November, a facility and project management official said last week.
“This has been a long-time need,” said Dave Church, assistant vice president for facility management. “We decided last May that we would be able to fund the project.”
The project started in early August and will cost an estimated $1.8 million, Church said.
While Wallace Field has been in need of renovation for some time, its hosting of Tent City 3 contributed to the field’s wear and tear, Church said.
“We recognized when we brought Tent City in that one thing we’d have to do is renovate the field,” Church said. “We knew we would have to do something to the field after they departed.”
Workers are lowering the field 12 inches and installing a new turf that includes drainage tubes underneath its surface, Church said.
“This should make Wallace Field available year-round for activity and eliminate the flag football ‘mud bowls,’” said Jeff Jordan, vice president for student life, in an email to students during the summer.
Flag football will be the only intramural sport affected by the renovation, said Amy Foster, assistant athletic director of business and operations.
Instead of its normal fall season, flag football will be moved to winter quarter and played on the new field, she said.
The new field will be permanently marked for ultimate frisbee and soccer, but can also be temporarily marked for flag football using special paint, Church said.
The new field will also feature a baseball diamond and backstop, Church said.
The infield and outfield will both be synthetic turf, however, they will be painted different colors, he said.
For the athletics department, the renovation is worth the inconvenience of relocating practice for some sports, said Erin O’Connell, director of athletics and senior woman administrator, in an email this week.
“(The renovation) is a win-win for the SPU student body and campus community,” O’Connell said. “This project has been on the ‘wish list’ for many years and will positively impact our students.”
Track athletes participating in sprint, field and multi events will practice at Shoreline Community College and the lower gym in Royal Brougham, O’Connell said.
Distance cross-country runners normally practice off campus and will continue to this season, O’Connell said.
“The bulk of the work began two months prior to the start of classes, which was helpful and minimized some impact,” O’Connell said.
Overall, the Athletics Department has managed the inconveniences caused by the renovation, O’Connell said.
“While our athletic teams will benefit to some degree, this project is largely about creating better opportunity to serve the recreational needs of our student body,” O’Connell said.
Like O’Connell, Church said students will benefit from the renovation because Wallace Field is used heavily by students for a variety of activities.
“Wallace Field gets a lot of use year round, and we’ve had natural turf out there for years,” Church said. “This will give us a year-round surface that students can use as much as they like.”
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