The UAlbany Athletics and Recreation Master Plan, developed in 2004, provided a design and planning framework for the University to implement repairs and upgrades to the University’s athletic and recreational facilities over the next 10 to 15 years. This plan generally defined site and building improvements and identified new and upgraded athletic and recreation facilities within the existing campus fabric. In 2009, with this plan as the framework, the University studied several concepts and phasing options to address high priority near-term repair and upgrade needs to its track and football facilities, which are co-located and in serious disrepair. The project herein is the result of this additional analysis.
This project involves the design of a new phased, separate multi-purpose turf field facility, a separate recreational turf field, and repair and improvement to the existing track and field facility at the University to address long-standing repairs and facility deficiencies. These facilities are currently hampered by poor/inadequate conditions and inability to meet selected NCAA standards. Indeed, conditions are so poor, the varsity track team cannot hold competitions on University facilities. The three components of this project are interrelated with respect to construction phasing, timing of campus operational and field-use needs, and project staging. They include:
- Track Repairs and Upgrades — A repaired and upgraded track and field venue will include a 9-lane synthetic surface track with 9-lane sprint straights at 48 inch widths. Associated throwing events will occur within the oval on a natural turf surface with repaired and upgraded lighting. Provisions for scoring, timing, equipment and meet management systems are included. The track will be located in its current site on the Uptown Campus and when not in use for competitions, will be available for casual and recreational use.
- Recreational Turf Field — While a co-located recreational turf field ‐ within the oval of the track or on the site of the multi-use athletic facility ‐ was considered, such an arrangement would not be viable given the need for track/field events to have natural surfaces and given the need to provide extended season priority use for student recreational, intramural, and club sport activities. The Uptown Campus is essentially an urban campus and has few open, well-graded fields for such recreation. Accordingly, a synthetic turf field with new field lighting and fencing will be constructed east of the tennis courts, south of Dutch Quad for extended season use.
- Multi-Use Athletics Facility — Varsity football will be relocated to a new multi-purpose facility to be located south of the Bubble, east of the SEFCU Arena. Once relocated, the track work can proceed. The modest facility is intended to provide seating for approximately 6,000 spectators. It will include a synthetic turf field that can accommodate both football and soccer and can hold other community and University events. The facility will also include other code- and competition-required features, such as a press booth, toilets and concessions, lighting, and audio-visual components. All components of the facility will be ADA compliant unlike the existing facilities. The multi-use athletic facility will be constructed to be expandable at some unknown time in the future without necessitating demolition of components constructed at this time.
Start: April 2012
Estimated Completion for all venues: Fall 2013
Project Progress as of May 01, 2013:
The Multi-Purpose facility continues to move towards a September completion date with the main press structure exterior metal panel system in place, interior partitions underway, erection of the Concourse Level walls where spectator support facilities will be located, and final grading along the berm seating area at the north side of the venue. Recent work includes installation of the sports lighting system and the start of the synthetic turf field. Additional site work around the facility will begin once the construction field offices relocates closer to the soon-to-be renovated Track & Field venue.
The Recreation Field Turf is available for University use. The sports lighting system at that location is undergoing final wiring and testing in the next few weeks.
The renovations to the Track & Field venue will start construction in the next two weeks. Work includes a new nine-lane track surface, reconditioning of the natural turf infield for field events, and a installation of a hammer throw facility south of the existing softball field.
Multi-Sport Complex Webcam:
The University at Albany athletic department has launched a Multi-Sport Complex Webcam, allowing Great Danes fans to easily follow the construction of Bob Ford Field. It can be found here.
Project Design Renderings:
(Click the picture for a printable version.)
Project Site Plan
Conceptual View - Rendering of Multi-Use Athletic Facility
Conceptual Exterior Perspective View - Southeast
Conceptual Exterior Perspective View - Southwest
Conceptual View - UAlbany Track
Start Construction Fencing
Retention Pond Area
Recreation Field Turf
Seating Bowl Wall
Lower Seating Bowl & Berm Walls
Work on the Foundations
Structural Steel Assembly At South Tower
Worker Assembles Steel Connections
Concrete Pour At Foundation Walls
Concourse Level Looking North
Lower Seating Bowl From Field Level
Backfilling Below Seating Structure
Drilling Field Wall for Electrical Conduits
North Field Wall At Players Run
Press Structure Roofing Underway
View From The Press Level
Workers Complete Concourse Level Walls
Press Level Lounge On West Side
Stadium View From Mid Field
Upper Press Level
Interior Partitions Underway
Start of Turf At North End Zone
View From Dutch Quad Tower