Preliminary work on the new athletic complex began earlier last week with a projected completion date set for Aug. 15.
“The department and college are thrilled. It is so refreshing and rewarding to see the reaction on the faces of our student athletes now that they know this project is a reality and that they will be playing on [the new field] next year,” said Kristan Pelletier, director of athletics.
Shaker Flats, the general contractor awarded the project back in January, began dismantling the current complex last week. For now, the contractors will work on taking down the fencing and marking up the field in preparation for the field work to begin. They plan to starting digging by mid-March once the ground thaws.
“We have a really good set of contractors. Shaker Flats, who is doing the bulk of the work, has about 2.5 million of the 4 million dollar contract. We have had a long relationship with them,” said Richard Edwards, director of the Physical Plant.
Hudson Valley opened the athletic complex project several years ago to start getting donations and funding. With the support of members of the college, community and state, the college was able to reach the funding goal needed to build the new complex.
Along with the Physical Plant’s help, the school has also received a lot of help from the administration.
“The dedicated teamwork amongst athletics, Vice President Popovics and Ann Carozza has put us in a situation for the complex to enter the planning and construction phase,” said Pelletier.
The school will have to change out the track and turf after several years of use, which they will plan and budget for ahead of time to make sure they are able to maintain the quality of the complex.
“The college will budget for [the field’s maintenance]. The lifespan of the track, they figure about eight to 10 years before it has to have some work done to it. The field has about 10 to 12 years before it has to be replaced,” said Edwards. “It will be a competitive process again when we bid it out, but that work is not as nearly as complex as the work we are doing right now.”
In addition to the construction of the new complex, the new student housing will give the school a chance to compete with bigger schools in recruiting and getting retention.
“They are absolute game changers. The combination of these two assets places us back on par with our competitors,” said Pelletier.