Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Regents approve facility projects for field hockey, baseball, softball programs

The Board of Regents approved two athletic projects during its monthly meeting Thursday on the UM-Dearborn campus. The regents approved a new field hockey stadium and team center and Phyllis Ocker Field upgrades, as well as the installation of new synthetic turf on the baseball and softball fields.

"We are appreciative of the donor support for both of these projects," said Dave Brandon, the Donald R. Shepherd Director of Athletics. "The two projects are part of our department's strategic initiative to build a connected athletic campus that will unify all 31 teams. We are excited about the future for each of these three varsity teams."

The estimated budget for the complete three-part field hockey project is $13.5 million. A new 13,000-square-foot building, which will replace the current South Ferry Field Locker Room building, will house locker rooms for players and coaches, offices, training facilities with hydrotherapy pools, meeting space and broadcast capabilities.

The project also includes a new grandstand with a capacity of 1,500 spectators and a concessions building with public restrooms. Ocker Field will be refurbished with new turf, a new scoreboard and new field lighting.

Construction is planned to begin at the conclusion of the 2013 field hockey season. The building and renovations are scheduled to be completed in time for the 2014 season.

Regents also approved the installation of new synthetic turf at the Wilpon Baseball and Softball Complex. The synthetic turf, which will replace the grass at Ray Fisher Stadium and Alumni Field, will provide a consistent playing field, better drainage and allow both teams to use the field earlier in their competitive seasons than natural turf.

The project, estimated to cost $2.55 million, also will improve fencing, sidewalks, drainage and adjacent practice areas. Construction is scheduled to be completed prior to the start of the 2014 season.

"The Wilpon family is very supportive of our baseball and softball programs and we thank them for their continued commitment to improving the student-athlete experience," Brandon said. "The new playing surface will allow our student-athletes greater opportunities for outdoor practices at all times of the year."