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Tractors, contractors, piles of dirt and the skeleton of a building mark the construction of Quinnipiac’s newest sports facility on Hogan Road. When finished, the facility will feature two fields for lacrosse, field hockey and soccer, complete with bleachers and locker rooms.
“The schedule has the completion of the fields ready for the fall semester,” Vice President for Facilities and Capital Planning Sal Filardi said. “We do have a little bit of concern about the locker room facility.”
Although the locker rooms might not be completed by the beginning of the semester, they are expected to be ready shortly thereafter, according to Filardi.
Associated costs for the project include construction equipment and landscaping as well as the designs of the two fields and its surrounding structures.
The $28 million budget for this project is a fraction compared to the $52 million spent to develop TD Bank Sports Center in 2007, according to the Quinnipiac Athletics website.
The fields are being constructed in order for Quinnipiac to comply with a court order that was issued four years ago, according to the New Haven Register. Under federal Title IX regulations, equal athletic opportunities must be available for all teams, both male and female.
The two fields will allow more practice time for Quinnipiac’s lacrosse, field hockey and soccer teams as well as a stage for athletic competition.
“The original project had lighting in it,” Filardi said. “The town essentially said, ‘we’re not going to let you put lighting up.’”
Hamden’s Zoning Board of Appeals deemed the lights inappropriate for a residential area, according to the New Haven Register.
“We’re hoping that (Hamden’s) regulations will improve over time to include sports lighting,” Filardi said.
Filardi pointed to the fact that the Hamden Zoning Board had recently approved lighting for a field in the south part of town in a residential neighborhood.
“The houses are much closer to that field than they are here,” he said.
Filardi argued that, with today’s technology, Quinnipiac could have installed sports lighting that would only light up the field, not the surrounding neighborhoods.
“I picked up my kid over in North Haven the other day,” Filardi said. “The light’s shining in your eyes from, you know, two blocks away because of this old technology.”
Filardi explained the stark difference in today’s technology.
“With today’s technology, with LEDs, it’s very focused and shines on the field,” Filardi said. “You can’t see what’s twenty feet off the field; it’s in the dark.”
Filardi also expressed how much lighting the fields would benefit the athletic organizations on campus.
“It expands the use of the field,” Filardi said, noting that the lack of daylight during the fall and spring semesters can an effect when teams can utilize the facility.
While Filardi hopes to be able to install lighting for the fields eventually, it is not a priority.
Some people at Quinnipiac think the facility is a positive change for the community.
“I think it’s good that we’re finally doing something to support women’s’ sports teams, or any sports team that is not men’s hockey,” sophomore philosophy and English double major Matthew Dennehy. said
Others recognize the necessity of the fields, but argue that $28 million is too high of a cost.
“I feel that our money can go elsewhere,” sophomore nursing major Marlayna Fanto said. “I shouldn’t be paying for my laundry or printing when the school can afford that much for a field.”
Quinnipiac’s newest sports facility is expected to be finished by the upcoming fall semester.