The East Campus Athletic Village is taking shape on schedule, with Phase 1 of the project on track for completion for the fall 2009 sports season. Some of the most visible signs of progress are on two impressive new structures: a 48,000-square-foot stadium and 151,000-square-foot arena. Together they will have a dramatic, positive impact on the landscape of the east side of campus and on the quality of student life.
“The athletic village will transform both the east campus and the student experience,” said Barbara Nelson, project manager, Campus Planning and Facilities Design. “The resulting facilities will be instrumental in helping us sustain and grow athletics at Rensselaer. Equally important, they will foster a sense of pride and community that, ideally, will last a lifetime.”
Steel framework is in place for both the stadium and arena, and utility infrastructure work is done. Much of the focus, now, is on making the arena weather-tight so interior construction can continue uninterrupted throughout the winter. Hockey program improvements in the Houston Field House began in June and will be complete later this fall.
Enhancements to the Lower Renwyck Fields are nearly complete. New sod and turf have been installed, along with directional lighting that illuminates the field without shining into nearby homes. Other improvements a privacy fence and tall evergreen shrubs also address neighbors’ concerns.
The East Campus Athletic Village is the most extensive athletic construction project in Rensselaer’s history. A core component of The Rensselaer Plan, the village will meet the needs of current students, more than 75 percent of whom participate in athletic activities on campus. The project also will position the Institute to continue to attract high-caliber student-athletes.
Phase 1 includes the new stadium, three-story arena and renovation, and expansion of the Houston Field House. Total estimated cost of this phase is $78 million.
Phase 2 will include an indoor pool, an indoor sports center with 200-meter track and tennis courts, and outdoor tennis courts. Costs are projected at $35 million to $45 million.
“The athletic village will become another campus hub,” said Michael Bongiorni, project manager, Campus Planning and Facilities Design. “Once Phase 2 is complete, all varsity athletics will be centered here, with designated space for each team.”
All construction and renovation is in accordance with National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) standards, clearing the way for Rensselaer to host additional NCAA tournament games. The facilities also will position Rensselaer as a prime location for regional and national high school tournaments, increasing visibility and, ultimately, applications and enrollment.
- 4,800 seats
- Synthetic turf field for varsity football, soccer, lacrosse, and intramural club sports
- Locker rooms
- Weight training facilities
- Sports medicine facilities
- Batting and pitching cages
- Coaches’ offices
- VIP suite
- Press box
- Public concourse with concession area and café seating
- Two gymnasiums
- Seating for 1,200 for basketball and 2,000 for special events
- Multipurpose space
- Athletic hall of fame
- Administrative space (coaches and athletics
- Atrium, lobby, cafe, and pro shop
The Houston Field House
- Enhancement and expansion of the locker rooms
- Additional coaches’ space
- New training facilities
- VIP box
- Press box
A Good Neighbor and Environmental Steward
The design of the village underscores Rensselaer’s commitment to the surrounding community and the environment. Site work includes a new drainage system that will reduce storm water flow in the adjacent neighborhood. Traffic and safety enhancements including a shuttle service and the closing of Georgian Terrace will reduce traffic and improve safety for pedestrians.
The buildings incorporate recycled materials, such as reforested wood for interior finishes. To minimize the impact of transportation, regional products are used whenever possible. In addition, more than 70 percent of construction waste will be recycled.
Energy-efficient features include skylights and other design components that maximize the use of natural light. Natural ventilation will reduce reliance on heating and cooling systems. Because plantings and other landscaping elements were chosen for their water conservation properties, the project does not include an irrigation system a decision that is expected to reduce water consumption by 50 percent.