Syracuse University
syracuse lally

Construction Zone: Athletic Facilities

March 14, 2022

University wants to buy St, Paul, Minn., golf course

St. Thomas University in St. Paul, Minn., is offering $61.4 million to buy the nearby Town & Country Club golf course so it can upgrade athletic facilities.

TommieMedia reports that university’s Executive Budget Committee announced its plans during a February town hall meeting.

“Town & Country is currently considering this offer and reviewing it with their members,” said Mark Vangsgard, vice president for business affairs and chief financial officer.

At about 94 acres, the golf course site would more than double the size of the St. Thomas campus.

“It would allow our expanded St. Paul campus to be more contiguous and walkable,” Vangsgard said.

The Town & Country Club golf course opened in 1893 and considers itself the first golf course in Minnesota.

The bid from St. Thomas was unsolicited, according to a communication from a Town & Country Club official, and the property had not been “made available for sale.” Club members intend to review the bid, the message said.

Vangsgard said St. Thomas would pay for the acquisition through donations, borrowing money from the tax-exempt bond market and through $5 million rolling off the university’s books from “older debt issuances” over the next two to three years.

Syracuse University plans overhaul of campus field house

The athletic department at Syracuse University in Syracuse, N.Y., is seeking to raise $150 million to upgrade facilities, including an overhaul of the Manley Field House.

The university says Manley Field House, described as the center of student-athlete life for Syracuse athletics for nearly 60 years, will be transformed into the John A. Lally Athletics Complex, an academic and athletics village.

The first phase of the project will begin in spring 2022 with construction of a new front entrance. The upgrade also will provide the Student-Athlete Academic Support Program with an expanded area to meet student needs through private in-person meeting spaces for expanded tutorial appointments and academic advising, along with career and life skills programming.

The athletics department will announce additional enhancements to the facility as it secures additional donations. Among the possible enhancements being considered: creation of a new Football Operations Center; a One Team Center, which will be used by all of Syracuse University’s Olympic sports teams; a student-athlete academic center to expand resources for academic support and professional and career development; updated dining and nutrition facilities; renovated locker rooms, medical training and strength and conditioning facilities; and modernized facades on the exterior of the complex.

The renovated field house is being named for alumnus John Lally, who made a $25 million gift commitment in 2019 for the project.

John Wildhack, director of athletics, says the revitalized complex will benefit all Syracuse student-athletes, improve recruiting and increase retention.

University of Kentucky will spend $30 million to upgrade track, football facilities

The University of Kentucky has approved a $30 million plan to build an indoor track and field facility, renovate Nutter Field House and install new videoboards at Kroger Field. The university Board of Trustees approved a $20 million expenditure for the indoor track and $5 million each for the renovation of the field house and the new scoreboards. Fundraising efforts will pay for the work.

 "Between track and field, football and our other outdoor sports, there is tremendous demand for use of the Nutter Field House,” said Mitch Barnhart, the university’s Director of Athletics.  “Having a facility dedicated to track and field, along with a renovated field house designed primarily for football, will be significant for the production, efficiency and safety of our teams and athletes.”

The new facility will be adjacent to the outdoor track and the teams' locker rooms and strength and conditioning areas in Shively Sports Center. It will feature a high-banked track, enabling runners to train on a surface that is now standard for NCAA and Southeastern Conference indoor championships.

The renovation of Nutter Field House will create a football-focused environment.  Planned improvements include replacement of the existing surface with wall-to-wall turf.  The upgrades will create a safer environment than the existing practice field, which is bordered tightly on each sideline and cut off in the end zones by the indoor track.

Also included in the field house plan are revisions to the mechanical system to improve air circulation and performance as well as new overhead doors and operable windows to add passive circulation to the practice area. New LED lighting will improve visibility during practice, reduce maintenance and improve energy efficiency.

The fan experience at football games will be enhanced with the installation of improved videoboards on the east and west ends of Kroger Field. 

Dayton (Ohio) district will renovation 73-year-old stadium

The Dayton (Ohio) school board has approved an $11 million contract to renovate Welcome Stadium.

The stadium was built in 1949 and serves as the district’s primary track and football stadium and is also used by the University of Dayton’s football team, The Dayton Daily News reports. The school district says the stadium has not undergone any major renovations since its opening.

The district says it will be working with community members on the design for the stadium. It plans to keep the historical character of the facility as it updates the stadium for compliance with accessibility regulations standards and modernizes aging infrastructure such as plumbing.

The project will include multiple renovations to improve accessibility, upgrades for outdated mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems, refurbishing or replacing the press box, replacing the artificial field and running track, restroom and locker room upgrades, new finishes and other related modifications.

Skanska USA is the project manager, and Shook Construction is the contractor.

Aquatic Center makes a splash in Racine, Wis.

The Racine (Wis.) Unified School District has opened a 51,000-square-foot aquatic center.

The $22 million RUSD Aquatic Center is adjacent to Case High School and features a 10-lane pool, a dedicated diving well and a four-lane multipurpose pool. It has seating for 800 people.

Racine Superintendent Eric Gallien says the district is looking forward to providing not only an outstanding swimming venue for student-athletes, but also opportunities for the entire community, which sits on the shore of Lake Michigan.

“We are a lake community, and all our children need to know how to swim," Gallien says.

Usage plans are still in development, but the aquatic center offers space for large swim events, parties, fitness classes, and swim lessons.. 

New recreation center planned at Pitt

The University of Pittsburgh is planning to construct a new recreation and wellness center.

The university says the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center will encompass about 270,000 square feet and will be built on for the site of the former O’Hara Garage and the Learning Research and Development Center

Visions for a center designed to enhance the student experience at the University’s Pittsburgh campus are coming into focus.

Anastasia Dubnicay, project manager in Pitt’s Office of Facilities Management, says student input was invaluable in designing the center

“Sitting down, talking with the students, asking them their thoughts, brought up inclusivity aspects and needs at current facilities that we didn’t know about, which was incredibly valuable,” Dubnicay said.

Officials say the multistory facility will encompass all aspects of health and wellness. Design plans call for a recreation pool; a jogging track; weight-lifting equipment; multi-activity courts for basketball, volleyball and other activities; and dining options.

In addition to being the largest recreation and wellness center in the university’s history, the center will be the first to adopt a holistic approach to supporting overall student health and wellness.

Mary Beth McGrew, associate vice chancellor in the Office of Planning, Design and Real Estate, describes the “aspirational design” as one that requires technical rigor because of its provisions that empower the mind, body and spirit, as well as its vertical design.

The university intends to break ground on the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center in spring 2022. It is anticipated to open in fall 2024.

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