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The Elmira College Board of Trustees recently approved moving ahead with a plan to invest $2.5 million in a multi-sport turf field on the College’s main campus. The project will increase the College’s athletic offerings, support enrollment and retention efforts, and support mental and physical well-being on campus as identified in the College’s 2023-2028 Strategic Plan.
“We are excited to move forward with this investment, which impacts our entire student experience and has far-reaching benefits,” said Dr. Charles Lindsay, Elmira College President. “The new field expands our intercollegiate athletic offerings while supporting our enrollment goals, academic programs, and on-campus recreation and activities. Also, with the field located on our main campus, we envision an increase in spectators patronizing area restaurants and shops while in Elmira.”
The turf installation project, which includes spectator bleachers and a press box, will replace the current natural turf on EC’s Campus Field located on the southwest side of campus. That field is currently home to the EC men’s and women’s soccer teams. The transition to turf will provide an enhanced practice and playing experience for the soccer teams as well as enable EC to reinstate both its intercollegiate men’s and women’s lacrosse programs. This means an initial overall enrollment increase of 25-30 students with more projected as the programs grow. Provided the project phases move ahead as expected, lacrosse competitions will begin in the Spring of 2025. Additionally, the Soaring Eagles’ field hockey team will relocate from the Murray Athletic Center (MAC) to the turf field for all competitions beginning with the Fall 2024 season. The closer proximity to academic buildings and student resident halls will make it easier for the campus community to attend games.
Beyond athletics, the new field will enhance on-campus recreation and campus-life opportunities like EC’s Lawnsay Games and Term III softball games. Additionally, the turf field will provide a space for activities and events related to academic programs such as the pre-athletic training minor.
“We are excited and thrilled to be moving forward with the investment into a turf field,” said Rhonda Faunce, Director of Athletics. “The building of the field will ultimately provide a better quality of experience for our students whether they are athletes or not. It will bring a great deal of energy and activity to campus because it allows many of our outdoor teams to practice and play on-site. Additionally, student recruitment will be further enhanced by the turf field, with the addition of camps and clinics put on by our athletic programs, along with increased intramural initiatives for all students. This is a win for the entire EC community.”
The next phase of the project is to begin the official permitting process with the City of Elmira, which is expected to take 2-4 months. Once permitting is complete, the construction phase could begin as early as March or April 2024, with the project completed by the summer of 2024.
The design and construction firm of Clark Companies, based out of Delhi, New York, provided design services for the turf facility. Financing for the $2.5 million project has been secured by the College and philanthropic efforts will support initial start-up costs for the turf field project.
Stay updated on progress via the turf field project web page.