Friday, April 13, 2012

2,400 And Counting

"For all sad words of tongue and pen, The saddest are these, 'It might have been'.--John Whittier

Two hundred days ago, we retold the story of the Multi-Sport Facility. Little has changed since that September morning in 2005 where workmen were attaching seats to the temporary stands in time for the home opener with Brown, with the public understanding that there was a break during the season until the next phase of construction. This fall, Brown returns to the Hilltop to find that the same temporary bleachers. Today marks 2,400 days since the break in construction.

For nearly 400 student-athletes, as well as a growing number of students who see it as the only safe intramural and recreational space left on this overbuilt campus, it is a promise unkept. The last online reference to the project dates back to September 2009, when then-interim athletic director Dan Porterfield wrote:

"First, it is crucial that we complete the Multi-Sport Field, which hosts not only our football and lacrosse games, but also intramurals, club sports, and events such as the annual all-night Relay for Life, a major fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. The original design, which includes precast cement stands and a rebuilt foundation, has been an expensive proposition. Though improvements have been made to the field in the last few years, the project remains unfinished and still requires significant investment to complete. For that reason, I have asked colleagues in Athletics and the University to see if we can develop a cost-effective approach to completing the field. Our goals will stay the same: To improve our teams' game-day experience, to make the venue more fan-friendly, and to construct an aesthetically pleasing facility. As we develop new options for this important project in the coming months, we look forward to sharing its details with our friends and donors."
Please take a look back at the column written September 26, 2011, at day 2200, for further discussion.