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Groundbreaking Ceremony signifies soccer field project is underway
Wednesday, July 05, 2006

SUNY Fredonia has begun the first phase of a $3.3 million project to upgrade the athletic fields, announcing its progress at a groundbreaking ceremony today.

The improvements include a new natural grass playing field for the men’s and women’s soccer teams, an artificial turf field for varsity practices, club teams and intramural competitions, improved bleacher seating for 1,000 spectators, lights for night games and enhanced drainage that will allow the team to host NCAA competitions.

University President Dennis L. Hefner noted that 260 men and women play in Fredonia’s intercollegiate programs, and nearly 4,000 intramural athletes.

With shovels in hand

Groundbreaking Ceremony July 5, 2006 for soccer fields
From left to right are College Council Chairwoman JoAnn Niebel, Assemblyman Joe Giglio, President Dennis Hefner, Senator Catharine Young, and Assemblyman William Parment.

“These projects do not happen by accident,” he said, pointing to State Senator Catharine Young, and assemblymen William Parment and Joe Giglio for helping to secure funding for the project.

Senator Young, who attended SUNY Fredonia, said, “This is a phenomenal project, and I am so pleased to have supported this because as we look at what makes Fredonia special, this is just one other aspect that really sets Fredonia State apart,” She referred to President Hefner as “a president extraordinaire…he has provided so much leadership. Fredonia State has strengthened itself enormously. These kinds of projects draw more students here. The qualities that our athletes learn through competition and teamwork really make an impact.”

Assemblyman Parment noted, “The investment of tax dollars here at SUNY Fredonia is probably unprecedented throughout this system. I am a big advocate of facilities being important in people’s lives. And I think when you have first-class facilities, you start turning out first-class graduates. I just think Fredonia has been doing it a long time – this facility will be in that tradition and help us be a first-class university.”

Assemblyman Giglio said, “I always get very excited when I step foot on a campus, especially Fredonia, one as beautiful as this. I always get excited because this is where the ideas are, this is where the future is, this is where the vibrancy is. This soccer field is a symbol of good cooperation, hard work and the future.”

The project was designed by Clough, Harbour and Associates, LLC, an engineering firm with 25 offices located throughout the United States. The athletic branch of the corporation, CHA Sports, has worked on such high-profile athletic projects as the Soccer Complex in South Germantown, Md., the Princess Anne Athletic Complex in Virginia Beach, Va. and the Richmond Strikers Soccer Complex in Richmond, Va.

Dan Deats, the architect on the project, noted that the fields will be built to world-class standards. “The synthetic is the same type of turf that is on approximately 12 NFL stadiums now,” he said, “and the natural grass field is an engineered type field that is the highest level of natural grass that you can get, and should serve this school’s excellent soccer program very well.”

The contractor is Clark Companies of Delhi, N.Y., which specialize in building sports facilities.

In less than a decade, SUNY Fredonia has constructed a natatorium, built a softball stadium, renovated Ludwig Field for the varsity baseball team, installed new dasher boards and rink floor for ice hockey and resurfaced the university’s outdoor track. These efforts, along with the multimillion-dollar soccer project, offer Athletic Director Gregory Prechtl, and SUNY Fredonia athletes ample evidence of the university’s dedication to intercollegiate sports. “Over the years, soccer at Fredonia has been known for quality coaching, outstanding coaching and successful seasons. Now, it will also be known for having a state-of-the-art facility, which will further enhance this great program. It’s a good day for athletics at SUNY Fredonia,” Mr. Prechtl said.

The new fields, stadium, lights and scoreboard, will all be ready for use by winter.

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