Dirt, gravel and heavy equipment cover the $4.5 million dollar project planned to enhance athletics by next year.
“We’re probably about one third complete with the entire project,” said Richard Edwards, Physical Plant director.
The project is set to be completed by Sep. 1, according the physical plant, though the track will be completed by early August and the artificial turf will be installed in July.
While the college projects new turf to improve the performance quality of four existing teams, the track is set to bring a new program to the athletic department. It was announced on Monday that a new outdoor track and field program will be launched by next spring with the completion of the new athletic complex.
“With this facility will come a new team, and that might help with enrollment in a small way,” said Dennis Kennedy, director of communications and marketing.
The outdoor track and field program was under development before the project broke ground in early March. Last year, when he was speaking to the Student Senate to raise the athletic fee, assistant athletic director Justin Hoyt said that the increase could help to fund the $15,000 to $20,000 program.
Although the fee passed for next fall in order to help the spring program, the college still struggled to fund additional costs for the athletic complex. Facing financial restraints, the college requested extra support from the state. Last month, an additional $1 million was approved in the state budget for the athletic complex.
Under the additional support, Hudson Valley sought out upgrades to the project materials. Track, which originally lasted an average of seven years, was replaced with longer-lasting materials. Matching the longevity of the artificial turf, the substitute track would last up to an average of 12 years.
According to Alex Popovics, vice president for enrollment management and student development, the college moved towards the new materials to avoid conflict with the track accessibility. The upgrade was approved by the board of trustees late last month.
“The concern is [that] it would be seven years that would need to be replacing [the track], five years later we’d be replacing the turf and two years later we’d be replacing the track again,” said Popovics. “And the constant work that’s being done would be a disservice to our students.”
“This upgrade should still keep us on budget,” said Ann Carrozza, director of the FSA.
The FSA contributed about $2 million to the $4.5 million project. Over five years, along with FSA and matching funds from the state, the Student Senate was able to push $715,000 in class gifts.