Garrett Kirk ’24
Vice President for Student Success and Enrollment Joe DiChristina announced via email Tuesday, Mar. 23, that the College will shortly begin construction on their athletic stadium complex.
DiChristina mentioned in his email announcement that this complex will include “New spectator stands for Trinity and visiting fans on Jessee Miller and Sheppard fields that will offer comfortable, accessible, and abundant capacity to enjoy games with clear lines of sight from any seat; a new press box supporting both fields and offering a modern, professional setting for media and coaching; two enclosed suites for spectating and stadium-related events; warming rooms for Trinity athletes and visiting teams for pre-game, halftime, and cold weather practices; and modern, accessible restroom facilities.”
According to DiChristina, the College is “on schedule to complete the project by the start of the fall 2021 semester. The first phase of construction will begin this week with demolition and reclamation of the existing bleachers, which presented safety concerns. We will begin the second phase (construction of new stadium) in June after we complete our fundraising and in time to host competition scheduled for early September.”
The Tripod spoke with Athletic Director and Physical Education Chair Drew Galbraith about the stadium construction process.
Financially, Galbraith said the endeavor “is a $3 million project, completely funded by donations and we are finishing that effort right now.”
Galbraith told the Tripod “This project was originally approved by the Trustees for design in April 2019 and for construction in February 2020. The College paused all capital projects in light of the pandemic last spring. Given the financial state of the College, the fact that this project is completely funded by donations and the improving state of the pandemic locally and globally, the Trustees approved resuming this project at their February 2021 meeting.”
According to Galbraith, the genesis for this project came about because “[t]he previous stands and press box at Jessee Miller Field were constructed in the early 1970’s. Over the past 50+ years, as construction materials, building codes and spectator habits have changed, a modern, safe and accessible bleacher system and press box were long overdue. While still certified as habitable by a structural engineer, the old stands did not have railings, accessible seating or modern safeguards. The press box was similarly inaccessible and not able to accommodate modern equipment necessary to run contests on the field.”
Galbraith mentioned that “The new project will allow us to incorporate all of those aspects and also utilize them for Sheppard Field by moving the press box to the east side of Jessee Miller Field (between the two fields). That addition to Sheppard Field will also allow us to host larger events in field hockey and women’s lacrosse, like the 2021 and 2025 NCAA Division III Field Hockey Final Fours.”
Galbraith also indicated to the Tripod that “This project will have a great impact on our campus, six varsity teams and the local community. We will be better situated to host varsity events on these two fields, and also be able to accommodate other campus and community events that were not possible before.”