Construction is now underway on Penn State Berks’ newest facility which will enable the college to add additional NCAA sports as well as greatly expand the recreational opportunities for our students. The project is a new artificial turf athletic field with the look and feel of a small-scale stadium. It is being constructed behind the current gymnasium, the Beaver Community Center, on the natural grass field currently used for soccer games. The field will include lights for night games and activities and permanent bleachers for 300 spectators.
At Penn State Berks, student athletic participation through our NCAA sports teams and through other recreational activities provides many opportunities for personal growth and for enhancing the educational experience. Currently our campus has 12 NCAA Division III varsity teams with about 200 student-athletes participating. In addition to our thriving varsity athletics program, Penn State Berks supports nine club sports. Intramural sports are also very popular, providing opportunities for hundreds more students to be active and interact with their peers outside of class.
These activities, in addition to pick-up and recreational sports, occur on campus at all hours of the day. The addition of a new, lighted field will not only enable more of these kinds of outdoor activities, but enable the college to add additional varsity sports programs such as lacrosse and field hockey. With the ability to expand student activities by using this new field, Penn State Berks will be able to significantly increase enrollment as well as to provide opportunities for the community such as summer sports camps and other public events.
The creation of the Penn State Berks Athletics Field is the first step toward more comprehensive athletic facility upgrades needed at the campus. Our students themselves have taken the first step in helping to make this a reality. The students have designated $1.75 million from their facilities fees toward the project, which has a total price tag of $2.8 million. The next major recreational upgrade will be the expansion and renovation of the Beaver Community Center, built in 1980 when our student population was one-third what it is today.
The general contractor overseeing the athletic field project is Miller Brothers Construction, Schuylkill Haven, PA. The field is expected to be completed in August, ready in plenty of time for the first men’s and women’s soccer games at the start of the Fall 2014 semester.
The opportunity is still available for naming opportunities, including a gift that would give a donor the prestigious opportunity to name this new athletic field. For more information on the new field, please contact the Office of Development at 610-396-6056 or email BerksGiving@psu.edu.
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