The spectacle of bulldozers, cranes and dirt mounds is anything but novel for current students of Salisbury University.
Several milestone improvements such as the expansion of student housing, on-campus parking and academic facility space are changes to happen within the decade.
Ongoing alterations to the East Campus athletic fields and facilities have since begun the construction process, with some already open for student and public use.
Matt Groves, a project manager for all SU architectural and engineering capital projects, spoke regarding the current scenes of construction near the tennis stadium and former soccer and intramural fields.
“The old soccer field will become the new soccer field,” Groves said. “Currently, storm water drainage corrections and upgrades to spectator seating is what can be seen at this moment in the construction progress.”
In addition to these improvements, updates to more modern LED lighting, scoreboard equipment and synthetic turf will become the new standard of athletic facilities at Salisbury.
As a former project architect of the Ewing Cole firm of Philadelphia, Groves believes that this year’s construction will make for a greater student-athlete and spectator experience.
“Increased amenities such as overhauled grandstand seating, ticket booths and all indoor restroom facilities as opposed to current Porta-Potty usage,” Groves said, “will surely add to the presentation and higher standard that SU has been working towards for years.”
The recent opening of the new softball stadium attests to the luxury and greater performance which SU yearns to achieve.
Construction activity at the corner of Avery and South Division Street can be seen, as preparations and advances on the relocation of the campus’ intramural (IM) field are underway.
The IM field will also be equipped with curb-to-curb synthetic turf, LED lighting with glare guard and key linkages of sidewalk and street lighting along Avery and South Division.
The turf will be lined and color-coded for multi-use purposes ranging from rugby and lacrosse to smaller activities such as flag football.
“In thelong-run, turf is more cost effective, requires less maintenance and is better looking than traditional seeded grass,” Groves said. “Each of these project improvements from the sidewalks to lighting advancements feature more safe designs and greater aesthetic appeal than their soon-to-be obsolete predecessors.”
The SU Architectural and Engineering department has their eyes set on the next construction project, which calls for the relocation of the Sea Gull baseball stadium to the grounds of the former IM field.
The work is said to be finished by the start of the 2018 spring season, with construction bidding beginning this June.
Along with the operational softball stadium, the baseball complex will also feature an elevated press box, grandstand seating, dugouts, bull pins, batting cages and efficient lighting and scoreboard technology.
The mentioned athletic improvements are budgeted around $19 million and are certainly set to positively impact both student-athlete and spectator experiences at SU.
Additional information on the East Campus improvements, future construction activities or any other developmental happenings around campus can be addressed by Salisbury Architectural and Engineering Services and Capital Projects department through www.salisbury.edu/aes/.
By SAWYER CORNELIUS
Featured photo: An artist's rendering depicting the planned gathering area to occupy the former site of Sea Gull Baseball Stadium (Salisbury University image).