Maura Keary ’22
Although the official timeline is yet to be determined, plans are currently being set for the renovations of Jessee/Miller Field stadium complex and the Ferris Athletic Center. First on the agenda is the field complex, followed by an addition and updates to Ferris. This is a much-anticipated and exciting time for Trinity Athletics, as the last renovations of Ferris were almost 30 years ago, with the redesigning of the squash courts.
With a projected completion of 2023—the College’s bicentennial—Ferris will boast a large addition to the main building with a new main entrance, and gathering spaces for students and faculty. This addition will also connect the two Ferris buildings, forming one entity.
Jessee-Miller Field, home to Trinity’s football and men’s lacrosse programs, will get a revamping with stadium seating and a new state-of-the-art press box. The press box will be moved from its current location to between Jessee-Miller Field and Robin L. Sheppard Field in order to benefit the two men’s teams, as well as field hockey and women’s lacrosse.
Phase one of the project will consist of the press box and stadium since Trinity recently received a bid from NCAA to host the 2021 Field Hockey Final Four. Ideally, this part will be completed by Fall 2020. There will be windows on both sides for dual use of the box. The complex will also include restrooms, concessions, meeting rooms, and spaces for game day events. The goal of the new design is to improve the game day experience for both athletes and fans.
This renovation of Ferris will create a space of wellness and sense of community, while supporting student-athletes and students at Trinity. “The focus of this building really is wellness because everything that we take out of the [current] building and put into the new facility will benefit all of the students,” mentioned Assistant Athletic Director Karen Shu. The health center, which currently stands in the middle of the freshman dorm area, will be moved into Ferris as part of the addition. Student fitness class spaces will be added to the third floor of Ferris, as the home of Trinity Squash will be moved into the new facility. The third floor will become a fitness center area with studios, giving all students the opportunity to gather and participate in the classes they choose, such as yoga or spin. The third floor will also hold a new recreational gym, as the current gym, Unit-D, will be knocked down.
This contemporary and dynamic addition to Ferris will house the new main entrance, coaching staff offices, meeting rooms, classrooms and new squash courts. This plan provides a promise to modernize the physical athletic structures at Trinity and also make a lasting impression on not only current students, but also prospective students and athletes. Shu explained the meaning behind the construction of Ferris and how its purpose will be to serve every member of the Trinity community, as well as help develop athletics at Trinity.
“Every student who walks into Trinity is going to be impacted by this building. Every student, and every faculty member at Trinity is welcome into this space.” Sticking with the theme of community engagement, the updates of Ferris will also include office and court space for Capitol Squash, a youth athletic organization of South Hartford that Trinity has recently partnered with. Capitol Squash will have their own entrance on the side of Ferris that faces Broad Street. This will provide them with accessibility and direction upon entering into the building.
As Shu said, “right now it’s more just about building excitement around the projects to hit our fundraising goals, then once we get there we can move forward to see what the building will actually look like.” The groundbreaking of Ferris will be contingent upon the reaching of fundraising goals, as well as the completion of the first phase, the stadium complex. Hopefully, a year and a half after groundbreaking, students will be walking through the doors of the new and improved Ferris Athletic Center.