Phase One of Athletics Field Project Is Completed

Phase One of Athletics Field Project Is Completed

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The first phase of St. Bonaventure University's athletics fields project was completed in September 2014.

Workers broke ground in late May on a $2 million renovation to the McGraw-Jennings Athletics fields complex, and while the wet weather in July and August did cause some delays, the project was completed Aug. 26. The women's soccer team played the first game on the new turf on Augiust 27, against Niagara.

Sparked by a lead gift of $1 million from Tom ’80 and Michelle Marra, both the first and second phases of the project will be funded entirely through philanthropic donor support.

The field that is home to the Bonnies’ men’s and women’s soccer and women’s lacrosse teams has been converted to an artificial playing surface, A-Turf Titan, which is manufactured by A-Turf of Cheektowaga, N.Y. Lights will be the other major component of the project. In addition, a concrete step entranceway to the field and new perimeter fencing and netting have been installed.

St. Bonaventure’s successful men’s and women’s club rugby teams will also play their home competitions on the field starting in the fall.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held on Saturday, June 7, during Alumni Reunion.

The project is the first phase of a planned upgrade to the outdoor athletics facilities; fundraising continues for a similar renovation to the softball field, which will cost approximately $1 million.

“This renovation will provide a huge boost to our soccer and women’s lacrosse teams as well as the club teams who will use it,” said then-Director of

Athletics Steve Watson. “We will have a safe, reliable field which will be attractive to potential student-athletes. It will be a point of pride for the whole campus. We are grateful to the many donors who have made this possible.”

“This is the first phase,” Watson continued. “The renovation of the softball field is necessary and I am confident that many loyal Bonnies alumni and fans will help us make that a reality as soon as we are done with the first phase.”

A-Turf Titan is used by the NFL’s Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium as well as university and high school athletic fields across the country and internationally. It carries a 12-year warranty and includes a sub-surface “shock pad” to improve safety. Another primary benefit of the turf is its drainage system, which Watson said will eliminate the postponements and cancellations of games due to wet conditions that have plagued the field.

Greenaur Inc. of West Seneca, N.Y., was the site contractor with assistance from HMH Site and Sports Design of Ithaca and Cannon Design of Grand Island, the project architects.

This project is the first major upgrade to St. Bonaventure’s outdoor intercollegiate athletics facilities since the baseball field was converted to artificial turf in 2006, which also was funded by a gift from Tom Marra.