Athletic complex construction set for March

Tyler McNeil
Managing Editor

Student athletes are expected to plant their cleats on new ground by next fall.

“As soon as the ground thaws and the snow gets out of the way, we’d start [construction] in March if we could,” said Alex Popovics, vice president for enrollment and student development.

“We’re absolutely ready. The funding is secure and in place,” said Dennis Kennedy, director of marketing and communications. Last April, the project was able to receive matching funding from the state and the Faculty Student Association bringing the total cost to $3.5 million.

The original project budget was based off a conceptual design by Saratoga Associates in May. Once the college rendered the full design, the project’s budget increased. “Halfway through the design process, we realized that we didn’t have enough money,” said Richard Edwards, director of the physical plant.

Funding for the athletic complex was voted by the Board of Trustees to be increased by $1 million. The college is currently trying to get funding from the state to match the $1 million increase. Additional funds for the project currently come from the FSA.

Less than two months ago, the Senate voted to increase the athletic fee. At the Nov. 23 meeting, Kristan Pelletier, director of athletics, mentioned raising the fee to assist the department with future costs of the athletic complex such as maintenance of the artificial turf. “This amount will be finalized upon completion,” said Pelletier in an email. “There are fixed and variable costs which arise in the short and long term which we will account for each fiscal year.”

At the November meeting, Justin Hoyt, assistant director of athletics, mentioned the cost of having a track and field program with the new outdoor track. He said costs for the team could range from $15,000 to $20,000. “We anticipate adding new sports, and it will help recruit and retain students at the college,” said Pelletier.

The 400-meter, eight-lane track will surround athletic turf, which will be used for sports ranging from soccer to lacrosse. “When that field is complete, it’s going to bring Hudson Valley Community College in competition regionally, across the state and across the nation,” said Louis Coplin, director of student life.

Women’s Soccer team head coach Jay Pokines mentioned that having the artificial turf will help future teams adjust to their competitor’s environment more easily. “Hudson Valley plays a number of schools with the turf, and we are always a step behind in the game until we catch up to the speed of the ball and the game. I look forward to playing on the new surface this fall and in the future,” he said in an email.

Space occupied by the athletic complex will take up parking spaces in the E-Lot and K-Lot. About 90 to 100 parking spaces will be lost upon the project’s completion. According to Edwards, additional parking will not be replaced with the space lost.

Matt-1022 (1)Matt Whalen | The Hudsonian

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