Purchase College and the Division of Physical Education, Recreation and Athletics have broken ground on a $1.8 million synthetic turf field, which will be used by the College’s athletic programs and be available for rentals to community groups and local sports teams. The new field is located near the main entrance of the campus.
The project, developed by Athletic Director Ernie Palmieri with the support of Purchase College President Thomas J. Schwarz, is the first major step in improving the college’s athletic fields. The new field is expected to be completed by March 2008.
“This new outdoor facility will be a significant enhancement to our expanding athletic program,” said President Schwarz. “The College is proud to offer our student athletes a first-rate field on which to train and compete. We are also pleased to provide an opportunity for adults and children in the community to utilize it as well.”
Judy Nolan, the College’s Chief Financial Officer, coordinated the funding for the project with the State University of New York and the State of New York Office of General Services.
In recent years, Purchase College has emerged as a major sports center for the local community, adding to its presence as a rich cultural and educational resource. Currently, Purchase’s athletic fields are used by 10,000 local youth and adults every month. With the addition of the new field, Purchase hopes to host some of the high school Section 1 and regional playoff games and to become a resource for local high schools.
“Due to high maintenance costs, weather conditions and high wear and tear on our natural grass fields, the only alternative was to install a state-of-the-art synthetic turf field with lights and a parking lot to help handle the high usage and demand by the College’s athletic programs as well as the local community,” Mr. Palmieri said.
“This facility creates a multi-sport field that will give the College an all-weather playing surface that allows for increased practice, playing and recreational options for the entire program—especially our men’s and women’s soccer programs, which will be the first intercollegiate teams to compete on the field next fall,” he explained. “Our master plan calls for men’s and women’s lacrosse teams in the near future.
“The field will also provide a playing surface for our baseball and softball teams during early spring practices, not to mention the numerous intramural and recreational programs that we offer at the College.”
Mr. Palmieri is looking for a community partner who will lend their name and financial support to the field, which will also feature a scoreboard, lights, stands, press box and on-site parking.
The turf field follows other recent improvements to the Purchase College athletic facilities. A new cross country course will be completed this spring for 5K and 8K races. And last spring, the College unveiled its newly renovated, rehabilitated and resurfaced 14 outdoor tennis courts and three new outdoor basketball courts funded by Future Stars.
The lead contractor for the turf field project is WJL Equities Corporation of Eastchester, N.Y. Subcontractors are DeRosa Tennis Contractors, LLC of Mamaroneck, N.Y. and D&M Electrical Contracting, Inc. of Elmsford, N.Y. The landscape architect is HMH Site and Sports Design of Ithaca, N.Y.