The University of Connecticut Board of Trustees approved the construction of a recreational field, as part of the University Athletics District Development, using $7.3 million in savings from the Student Recreation Center budget and Rec Center fees.
The savings, UConn CFO Scott Jordan said Wednesday morning, come from Rec Center funding, as the construction of the building is coming out to be under budget. The fees and savings will be “sufficient to pay [and] back up” construction of the field, Jordan said.
The area, which is currently a basketball court, will be used by the Recreation Department for recreational activities, Jordan said, as well as Athletics Department use as needed.
“It would be controlled by our recreation department, [who] would be the prime users of it,” Jordan said. “The Athletics Department would have access to it.”
David Benedict, the Director of Athletics, said the field would allow students “access well into the night.” The Athletics Department would use the field for women’s lacrosse practice, Benedict said, instead of the George J. Sherman Family-Sports Complex, which is also slated for refurbishment.
“[It’s] going to be used by all,” Benedict said. “There’s no reason for the university to not build and not maximize the use of these facilities.”
The field, which will have artificial turf and lighting, will only be used by the Athletics Department when the field is not already in use by the Recreation Department, UConn spokesperson Stephanie Reitz said. Athletics-operated fields would also become available for the Recreation Department to use.
“We currently do that already with fields where UConn Athletics is the primary user, and they’re available for UConn Recreation use when not already booked [by Athletics],” Reitz said. “All the new stadium fields will be artificial turf and lit, so Rec will be able to use them as well. The only reason Rec couldn’t use them before had been to preserve the grass.”
The field’s construction is estimated to take about two years, Jordan said.
Marlese Lessing is the news editor for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. She tweets @marlese_lessing.