Dairy Field, located next to the University’s Dairy and across the street from Hutchison Field, will begin reconstruction into a multipurpose turf field in the spring.
With 36 sports club teams and many Intramural (IM) sports teams from 27 activities, there was a need for an all-purpose, all-weather field, considering not all sports teams require practice on indoor fields, according to Assistant Director of Competitive Sports Andy Ramirez.
Ramirez, who has been involved with most of the project, said that a turf field will allow flexibility in sports practice times — anytime, any weather.
A turf field is a synthetic grass field, also used at Aggie stadium, that requires less maintenance and upkeep than a regular grass field, thereby saving the university money and labor.
“Even if it’s raining outside, you can pretty much play through anything. A lot of times we cancel practice because of the weather; however, a turf field will afford us more flexibility,” Ramirez said.
Construction teams hope to break ground after spring quarter, and the university’s goal is to finalize the project by October 2012; sports teams begin play in mid-October, adds Ramirez.
Associate Director of Facilities and Capital Projects Matt Fucile has been involved with the project since its inception.
“The Department of Campus Recreation is very excited about this project. This facility will continue to enhance the ability for students to participate in recreational activities that promote student life and wellness,” Fucile said.
The project is set to cost around or under $4.5 million.
“The cost of the project is not just the turf itself; it’s the whole complex, which is set to include various facilities for student use, including restrooms, drinking fountains, storage area, bike racks, fencing and energy-efficient lights,” said Intramural Sports Coordinator Ben Dao.
In addition to these amenities, the field itself will include a full-sized women’s lacrosse field, a full-sized men’s lacrosse field, a men’s and women’s full-sized soccer field, and three IM soccer fields.
Approximately 450 IM soccer teams, both indoor and outdoor, are established annually. Because of this, the demand for soccer fields is high. The newly constructed Dairy Field will permit six teams to play at one time.
“The new field will be more available to the student population that wants to throw the ball around or play a game of pick-up soccer and it’s a great addition to the campus — a long time coming,” Dao said.
The new turf field’s multipurpose, multi-use availability will allow students to use it informally for virtually anything.
“It will prove to be a wonderful asset to the entire campus community, bringing additional year-round program use to Dairy Field,” Fucile said.
Many students seem to agree.
“I think it’s great that UC Davis is finally paying more attention to its athletics,” said senior psychology major David Rosove.
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