ANNVILLE, Pa. - Lebanon Valley College has announced plans to install artificial turf at Arnold Field, modernizing the facility and allowing for multiple varsity sports teams to use the stadium for practice and competition.
Activitas, a Dedham, Massachusetts firm specializing in planning, landscape architecture, and athletic facilities, has been selected as the designer. Patrick Maguire, the firm's president, began work on the project last month and expects to complete a schematic design, tentative schedule, and preliminary cost estimate by mid-January. Maguire has previously completed similar projects for the New England Patriots, Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Villanova University.
Arnold Field's natural grass surface, in use since the facility opened in 1969, will be replaced with an artificial surface that will be formulated to meet the needs of LVC's athletics programs. Football, men's and women's lacrosse, and the men's and women's track & field programs currently use Arnold Field. The field hockey team will also move there for practice and competition once the new surface has been installed.
Members of varsity teams won't be the only students to benefit from the synthetic turf installation. The increased availability of Arnold Field—which is currently employed almost exclusively for intercollegiate competitions—will allow for some intramural, club, and recreation use as well as free up nearby natural grass fields for such play.
"This transformation of Arnold Field will have a significant positive impact on the quality of our student-athlete experience at Lebanon Valley College," said Athletic Director Rick Beard '90, M'92. "For example, the lacrosse programs will be able to use it during winter preseason practice becauseit can be plowed after snow storms. The men's and women's soccer teams could practice on it before playing at an opponent with a turf field, and the surface is regarded as safer to play on than grass in bad weather. At the same time, it's a project that has the potential to benefit every student at Lebanon Valley College, not just those playing varsity sports, by allowing greater general student use of our grass fields."