Penn College plans athletic field improvements
The new turf field system will be installed to NCAA standards to facilitate use by various athletic teams at the college. On Thursday, the Penn College Board of Directors authorized the college administration to borrow funds from reserves to move forward with the project.
Installation of a 123-by-85-yard synthetic turf field, base, drainage and associated improvements will begin soon after the Spring 2019 Wildcat Athletic sports schedule is completed. Construction is expected to take three months, with completion due in time to accommodate the Fall 2019 Penn College sports schedule.
The synthetic turf consists of a specially designed monofilament and slit-film (hybrid) system to facilitate grasslike ball roll and provide a superior aesthetic appearance. Beneath the turf will be a system designed to reduce the impact on athletes. The field will allow for activity through a variety of temperatures, as well as in wet, dry and frozen conditions. Annual maintenance costs for the new synthetic turf field will be less than one-quarter of those for grass.
To date, the athletic field complex, located at the west end of campus adjacent to the Field House, has been enhanced with extended bleachers (with a capacity of 650 spectators) and a new press box and scoreboard. The next step is to replace the existing grass field with synthetic turf.
The total cost for the synthetic turf field project is estimated to be $1.4 million. The college is launching a fundraising campaign to help defray costs for the turf field and other enhancements to the athletic complex, with naming opportunities and recognition available for each.
In addition to intercollegiate athletics, the complex is used by intramural sports, club sports and Student Activities at Penn College. With the installation of synthetic turf, the field will also be reservable by outside groups and youth sports organizations.
The enhanced athletic complex enables Penn College to appeal to prospective students and recruit more student-athletes, expand men’s and women’s sports offerings, serve as a potential hosting site for conference championships and PIAA competitions, conduct camps and clinics, and host students from Williamsport and surrounding regions.
“This new turf field addition to our outdoor athletic complex will be a centerpiece for Wildcat Athletics!” said Elliott Strickland Jr., vice president for student affairs. “Not only for our 250 student-athletes, but for all students who will be able to use this space for intramural activities, club sports and campus events. Penn College boasts some of the highest-quality academic and lab facilities for our students. Similarly, our athletic and recreation facilities continue to grow and improve. Our student-athletes excel inside the classroom and on the field of play, and I’m most excited that these improvements will increase the safety and playability for them.”
“We look forward to engaging our Wildcat champions – our corporate partners, alumni, parents and friends – in this important project for our students,” added Loni N. Kline, vice president for institutional advancement. “Those wishing to participate will make a significant impact for Wildcat Athletics and will be recognized in unique and visible ways for their support.”
Penn College Wildcat Athletic teams are members of NCAA Division III. Since Penn College’s affiliation with the North Eastern Athletic Conference, recognition has included 52 All-Conference student-athletes and 131 conference scholar-athletes from the college’s 15 intercollegiate sports teams.
To learn more about the benefits of joining the winning team of Wildcat supporters, call Institutional Advancement at Penn College at 570-320-8020.