Construction begins on 2,000-seat stadium

Construction on the new stadium at Geneseo began on Monday Feb. 27 with the installation of safety fences around the worksite – located across from Merritt Athletic Center.

Clough Harbour Associates are the architects behind the new stadium design, which includes two synthetic turf fields accompanied by a 2,000-seat grandstand, pavilion, press box building, athletic support building and spectator support building.

“The design for this project began back in February of 2009,” said Facilities Planning and Construction Project Manager David Norton. “The athletic department has worked with the utilities and infrastructure, and administration has had input in the design aesthetics.”

The stadium will replace the Holcomb building, which is scheduled for demolition over the next few months. This process will entail abatement of toxic lead and asbestos building materials that were used in the construction of the Holcomb building. The building will then be torn down in pieces.

“This is the ideal location because it will allow the stadium to be an extension of Merritt Athletic Center,” said Norton.

The fields within this new stadium complex will be at the disposal of the soccer and lacrosse teams.

“The current athletic fields for soccer and lacrosse take a lot of work to maintain,” said Norton. “The new turf in the stadium will be a great enhancement for all the teams that will use these fields. We’re also planning on using the stadium for bigger events such as SUNYAC class meets and commencement.”

The combined cost of design and construction of the new stadium complex will be approximately $14.8 million. The project was developed through a strategic initiative for the Geneseo campus and will be funded through the State University Construction Fund, which manages capital construction projects.

Pike Construction, the contractor behind this project, was selected based on their plans and drawings during a public bidding for the contract.

“Contractually, Pike Construction has 900 calendar days to complete the job,” said Norton. “Based on this number, the project would be complete by July of 2014. The contractor, however, has given us a schedule that ends earlier than that. We expect the project to be complete by spring of 2014.”

Student response to the construction of the new stadium complex has been mixed.

“I think money would be better spent on improving conditions for the track team. We already have multiple fields for the soccer and lacrosse teams, but track actually needs better facilities,” said freshman Caroline Walter.

“I love Geneseo, but one of the things that seems to be lacking is school spirit and excitement about our Geneseo Knights,” said junior Justin Baratta. “Although support is getting better with sports like basketball and hockey, hopefully a new stadium will spark excitement for lacrosse and soccer.”