Ahead of the Field: Dartmouth’s Commitment to Athletics Facilities Continues

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This week, Dartmouth Now is featuring stories published in the spring 2011 issue of Dartmouth Life, which is focused on athletics. To see all the stories posted from this “Sports Special” issue, click the Dartmouth Life Sports Special tag at the end of this article.

Since 2000, Dartmouth has invested more than $80 million in its athletics facilities (see sidebar for more details). New construction includes the Boss Tennis Center, Corey Ford Rugby Clubhouse, and Red Rolfe Field at Biondi Park. Improvements include the Zimmerman Fitness Center in Alumni Gym, Leverone Fieldhouse, and the resurfacing of Memorial Field and track.

Recent Major Investments in Athletics Facilities

• Scully-Fahey Field $4M (2000)
• Boss Tennis Center/Gordon Pavilion $7.5M (2000)
• Blackman Practice Fields $750K (2000)
• Leverone Fieldhouse renovation $5.3M (2001)
• McLane Lodge and Skiway improvements $4.5M (2001)
• Hanover Country Club renovation $3M (2002)
• International Squash Court conversions $1M (2002)
• Corey Ford Rugby Clubhouse and fields $3.3M (2005)
• Alumni Gym Renovation and Zimmerman Fitness Center $16M (2006)
• Resurfacing of Memorial Field and track $2.8M (2006)
• Resurfacing of Leede Arena $350K (2007)
• Floren Varsity House and East Stands $19.5M (2007)
• Burnham Soccer Field and Sports Pavilion $8M (2007-08)
• FieldTurf™ installed in Scully-Fahey Field $750K+ (2008)
• Chase AstroTurf™ and natural grass fields, located to the immediate south of Burnham Soccer Field $2.4M (2008)
• Red Rolfe Field at Biondi Park $5.2M (2009)

“It’s essential to provide coaches and student-athletes with high-quality training and competition venues to help them reach their potential,” says Deputy Director of Athletics Bob Ceplikas ’78. “It’s equally important that the entire student body has access to fitness and recreation facilities that promote wellness, relieve stress, and complement their academic experiences.”

Even with many major projects complete, Dartmouth’s commitment to those goals continues. Current projects include:

Basketball upgrades

Construction is currently under way in the John Berry Sports Center to provide the men’s and women’s basketball programs with more efficient office space for coaches, team meeting space for video review, and a convenient, comfortable area for post-game receptions. The teams’ locker rooms will also be expanded and equipped with new ventilation systems. New championship and Ivy League banners will be hung from the ceiling of Leede Arena, and players, spectators, and recruits alike will see Dartmouth’s commitment to excellence in basketball.

Memorial Field lights

New lighting and sound systems at Memorial Field will be installed this summer, in time for the 2011 football season. In addition to extending practice hours for a wide range of varsity and club sports, the stadium can host up to five evening events each year. Both systems will utilize the latest technology to minimize the impact of light and sound on the adjacent neighborhood. The project is funded by Chris Jenny ’77 and his wife, Andi, along with other generous donors to Friends of Dartmouth Football.

Artist's rendering of the proposed softball field

Construction on Dartmouth’s new softball park is slated to begin in September 2011.

On-campus softball park

Since Dartmouth softball was elevated to a varsity sport in 1995, the team has practiced and played at Sachem Field, a mile south of central campus. That will soon change with the construction of a new state-of-the-art softball venue in the southeast corner of the Chase Field complex. The project was approved by the Board of Trustees at its February 2011 meeting and permits are now being secured from the town and state. Construction is projected to begin in September 2011, with completion in time for the spring 2012 season.

Thompson Arena renewal

Renovations this summer at Thompson Arena will reduce energy costs and update the building’s major mechanical systems—most of which are original to the arena’s opening in 1975—including dehumidification systems, locker room heating and ventilation, and fire protection. The College is also changing to a more efficient and environmentally friendly refrigerant for the building’s cooling system. New dasher boards with seamless glass, which have some give when players come in contact with the boards, are being installed in the rink, as are new and safer handrails in the aisles.