UAlbany Breaks Ground on All-Weather Athletic Fields
Catherine Herman (518) 437-4980
ALBANY, N.Y. (May 18, 2005) -- The University at Albany today broke ground on the site of what will become two all-weather athletics fields. Joining President Kermit L. Hall in the ground-breaking ceremony were John R. Fallon Jr., whose contribution helped finance the lacrosse field, Director of Athletics Lee McElroy, and Ray Rudolph, Sports Partner, Clough Harbor and Associates LLP. "John Fallon Field" will be home to the men's and women's lacrosse teams, while an adjacent field will be home to women's field hockey in addition to serving as a multi-use recreational field for UAlbany students. The fields will be located east of University Field.
"This makes it possible for our students and fans to enjoy these fields for sport and recreation throughout the year right here at the University," said Hall. "We are most grateful to John Fallon for his commitment to student athletics and generous support of the lacrosse program, which has made exceptional strides under the stewardship of Lee McElroy and coaches Scott Marr and Dennis Short."
Fallon (B.A. '77, M.P.A. '81) donated $250,000 to fund construction of an all-weather lacrosse field for the men's and women's teams. A partner at LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene and MacRae, LLP in New York City, Fallon handles major transactions, acquisitions and financings. Through the donation, Fallon aims to further bolster the success of UAlbany's men's lacrosse team, which earned an NCAA tournament berth for the third straight year this past spring.
"The teams have great potential, and to take them to the next level we'll need a field with the same synthetic turf as the teams have played on for the NCAA championships," noted Fallon, who as an undergraduate played all four years on UAlbany's lacrosse team. "When we have the new all-weather field, the teams can get out there practicing sooner and we could have some of the early season games played here, as opposed to playing on the road."
The first phase of construction will be coordinated by the University at Albany office of Architecture, Engineering and Construction Management. The plan was designed by Clough Harbor and Associates LLP of Albany. General contracting will be completed by Callanan Industries, also of Albany. The first phase is expected to be completed by September 1, 2005.
This year, the men's team played only two home games at UAlbany. The first three home games were played in Troy at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's all-weather facility. The team finished 10-6 in 2005, losing to Virginia in the first round of the NCAA tournament. The team was ranked 13th in the country in the final NCAA Division I regular-season poll.
The University is currently developing a master plan for improving athletics facilities over the next five to ten years, and, said McElroy, the all-weather lacrosse field is the first of many projects he envisions to enhance the University's athletics programs. "The implementation of the athletics facilities master plan will enhance institutional pride, tradition and excellence. We are immensely appreciative to John for his support. We have done well with our existing resources, but if we are going to compete at the national level, we have got to have better facilities. Private support is vital for accomplishing our goals," said McElroy.
Gov. George Pataki appointed Fallon to the University at Albany Council in 1998. He is also a member of the board of directors of the University at Albany Foundation, UAlbany's philanthropic arm.