Vandy fields set to receive upgrade

The grass fields located on the corner of Vandeventer Ave. and Laclede St. will be replaced with artificial turf. The field is frequently used for intramural sports. Jennifer Wang/ Photo Editor

The grass fields located on the corner of Vandeventer Ave. and Laclede St. will be replaced with artificial turf. The field is frequently used for intramural sports. Jennifer Wang/ Photo Editor

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After years of wear-and-tear by club and intramural athletes, the field at Laclede Street and Vandeventer Avenue will be replaced with synthetic turf. Resurfacing will take place in the summer and the field will be available for use starting in the fall semester.

The grass fields located on the corner of Vandeventer Ave. and Laclede St. will be replaced with artificial turf. The field is frequently used for intramural sports. Jennifer Wang/ Photo Editor

The project was made possible due to availability of funding from the student wellness fee. It was also propelled by quickly growing student interest. Students participating in intramural sports as well as club sports have used the field as their primary outdoor grounds for many years. It is the practice and game-day field for the club Rugby team. When organized sports did not occupy the field, students used the grounds for ultimate Frisbee and soccer pick-up games.

Recently, closures became commonplace and matches were rescheduled, moved into the Simon Recreation Center, or canceled. Additionally, numerous students suffered injuries while participating in activities on the Laclede-Vandeventer field.

In the past year, concerns for the safety of students have been greatly vocalized. Student Government Association recognized the severity of the issue. In the fall, SGA released a survey that received overwhelming feedback from students that supported improvements to the Laclede-Vandeventer field. Accordingly, SGA requested this past winter that University administration consider resurfacing the field.

“I did all I could to make this a priority and to ensure it was done during our term. I was ecstatic when it got approved because it showed me how positive things can be when people work together to better our school,” SGA President Matt Ryan said.

The current grass field will be replaced with a synthetic product “that is safe and durable,” according to a message from SGA President, Matt Ryan to the student body on March 8.

In addition, the turf field will allow use to endure through inclement weather. In the past, excessive mud after rainstorms would set back a full day of scheduled events.

The project is set for completion before the fall semester. As before, the field will be available for open recreation as well as for intramural and club sport use. The high quality of the field and the heightened capacity for traffic opens up broader possibilities for use of the field.

“Speaking with intramural and club sports players, I can tell you they are extremely grateful for the changes and excited to get playing on it next fall,” Ryan said.