Elms College completed a $1.71 million field renovation project this past summer.
The project, headed by Fontaine Brothers and the engineering firm of Coler & Colantonio, included a 72x120-yard, multi-use artificial surface field and NCAA-compliant softball field.
"Our athletic program enhances the educational experience for so many of our students. The value of co-curricular programming - whether it is through athletics, service opportunities, or the arts - is well documented, Elms College President Dr. James H. Mullen, Jr. said. "Students develop character traits that benefit them throughout their lives - commitment, responsibility, teamwork, motivation, and leadership. We're proud to provide these high quality facilities our students deserve."
Russell J. Omer, chairman of the board of trustees at Elms College and senior vice president of Chicopee Savings Bank, said, "One in three of Elms College students currently participate on our 15 varsity sports teams, and many of them play more than one sport. In fact, the number of student athletes at Elms College has increased 35 percent over the past five years. This dramatic increase in the number of student athletes gives us cause to renovate our athletic fields so we may better serve our student population."
"We have discussed new athletic fields for the past several years, and to see our dream become a reality was wonderful," Elms College Director of Athletics Louise McCleary said. "In the past five years, our athletic programs have grown tremendously with the addition of three intercollegiate programs; an increase of approximately 75 student athletes and the hiring of 11 full-time athletic department members - now was the time for us to continue our successful growth with first-class athletic fields."
The artificial surface field, comprised of Field Turf monofilament prestige series, will include a Musco lightning system. The new multipurpose field will host all practices and games for men and women's soccer, field hockey and women's lacrosse as well as early spring outdoor practices for baseball and softball. The college's physical education classes, intramural programs, and general student population will also use it.
The softball field will include covered dugouts, a batting cage and will play 200 feet down both baselines and 210 feet in center field.